• Domestic Agenda

    Mid Devon Advertiser
    07 October 2019

    The Government has now set out its agenda for the new Parliament with key pledges as follows:-

    EDUCATION: £14billion of additional funding over the next three years including an increase in per pupil funding that will make a big difference for historically underfunded authorities like Devon.

    HEALTHCARE: £1.8billion cash injection for the NHS on top of the additional £33.9billion that was pledged for healthcare services last year, being the largest cash injection into the NHS in its history.

    POLICING: 20,000 new police officers will be recruited over the next three years and 10,000 prison places will be created to alleviate prison overcrowding.

    HELP FOR THOSE ON LOWER INCOMES: The National Living Wage will rise to £10.50 an hour by 2024 from its current rate of £8.21. For someone working an average 40-hour week this will mean an increase in annual salary from £17,076 to £21,840. The age at which someone is entitled to this new rate will also be lowered from 25 to 21, helping more young adults at a key age in their lives. Tenants of housing association homes will be given the right to shared ownership through the right to buy a 10% share of their home (or more if they can afford it), with further shares able to be bought over time. 

    BUSINESS & EMPLOYMENT: The Government will invest £25billion in infrastructure projects including 14 new road schemes, £220million in bus services, and £5billion in rolling out 5G and other gigabit-capable broadband to the hardest-to-reach 20% of the country (where commercial providers struggle to cover). Having worked hard over many years to improve rural broadband connectivity in Central Devon I was particularly pleased with this announcement. Many areas of our constituency have improved significantly since 2010 but other communities still struggle with slow speeds which hold businesses back and increase the likelihood of rural isolation.

    ENVIRONMENT & ANIMAL WELFARE: £1billion will be invested in the car industry for the development of electric cars and a new ‘Future Homes Standard’ will boost energy efficiency by 2025 as part of a range of initiatives to hit our target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Keeping monkeys and other primates as pets will be banned as part of a package of new measures to end animal cruelty.

    YOUTH SERVICES: A £500m fund will be established to create 60 new youth centres, refurbish 360 existing youth facilities and provide more than 100 mobile youth facilities for harder-to-reach areas.

    HOUSING: The planning system will be simplified to replace empty high street “eyesores” with modern houses and to make it easier for families to extend their homes.

    INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT: The Government will prioritise ending the preventable deaths of mothers, children and new-born babies in the developing world by 2030 through investment in vaccines, funding for research into treatments and diagnoses for deadly diseases, and overseas aid targeted at improving healthcare for pregnant women and new-born babies.

    For more from Mel follow him on twitter @MelJStride or visit