By Tim Montgomerie
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In a Christmas and new year message to Tory MPs David Cameron has identified the Coalition's twenty top achievements in 2011. The list comes from the Conservative Research Department…
- Steering Britain through the global debt storm. The Government’s credible deficit reduction plan has ensured UK market interest rates on government debt have fallen to record lows and below Germany’s for the first time in years.
- Cutting income tax for 25 million people. A total of 1.1 million people will be lifted out of income tax altogether.
- Freezing Council tax for the second year running.
- Biggest increase in the State Pension since 1948. In April 2011, the Government introduced its triple lock which ensures that State Pensions will be uprated by earnings, prices or 2.5 per cent – whichever is highest.
- Cutting fuel duty, saving 10p per litre compared to Labour.
- Introducing a permanent levy on the banks. It is expected to raise £10 billion over the lifetime of this parliament, raising £2.5 billion a year.
- Getting credit flowing to small businesses and creating Enterprise Zones.
- More doctors, fewer managers, less bureaucracy. Since the General Election, there are now 3,500 more doctors and 5,500 fewer managers working in the NHS.
- Better access to cancer drugs. We have introduced a £200 million per year Cancer Drugs Fund which has already given over 5,000 patients access to the life-extending cancer drugs they need.
- Capping Housing Benefit. We have taken steps to end Labour’s something for nothing culture by capping Housing Benefit from April this year. This stops the abuse under Labour where one family alone could get over £100,000 in Housing Benefit to live in areas that the hardworking families paying these bills could not afford themselves.
- Cutting billions in Whitehall waste. In 2010-11 we cut £3.75 billion of central government waste – £550 million more than expected.
- Bringing back the weekly bin collection. A £250 million fund is being provided to help support councils deliver a weekly collection of household waste.
- The largest ever increase in the Child Tax Credit.
- New directly elected Police and Crime Commissioners.
- Many more good school places. The first ever Free Schools – 24 of them – opened just 16 months after we came to power and by December more than a thousand schools had become Academies (DfE, Press Releases, 28 August 2011 and 4 October 2011).
- Tough new powers on school discipline.
- New Housing programme to help people onto the ladder and get Britain building.
- Standing up for Britain in Europe. The Prime Minister was clear before the EU summit on 8-9 December that he would protect the national interest. He said we could only agree a new treaty if certain modest, reasonable and relevant safeguards were obtained. We couldn’t get those safeguards. A treaty within a treaty without safeguards wasn’t right for Britain, so we said no.
- Introduced an EU Referendum Lock.
- Leading international efforts to support the Libyan people in their hour of need. Preventing the massacre of thousands of innocent civilians by Colonel Gaddafi and his troops and supporting their wish to elect their own, democratic government.
I'd be interested to see Lib Dem HQ's equivalent list. I can't imagine number 18 would feature upon it!