Chris Leslie MP counts down 100 days of regressive government

What have the Tory/Lib Dem government achieved in their first 100 days? They have certainly been busy with their ‘reform’ agenda; the only problem being the nature of those reforms.

As an exercise in charting their disastrous progress to date, I wondered if it would be too stretching to list 100 substantive backward steps for each day so far.

Sadly, it wasn’t that difficult and my efforts are listed below. It may just be my perspective on things, but it already has the feel of one of the most regressive administrations in living memory. Are there things I’ve missed in my list? Probably, but it’s just a start.

1.       Choosing to raise VAT to 20% next year

2.       Cutting the corporation tax of the banks by £1billion

3.       Implementing a feeble banking levy at a rate half that implemented in the USA

4.       Freezing child benefit for the next three years

5.       Scrapping the child trust fund

6.       Deciding against the mutualisation of elements of the existing state-owned banking sector

7.       Scrapping the health-in-pregnancy grant

8.       Keeping unemployment higher than needed through anti-growth budget measures as assessed by the office of budget responsibility

9.       Raising insurance tax on holiday and travel insurance to 20%

10.    Increasing insurance tax on cars and homes from 5% to 6%

11.   Scrapping Labour’s planned tax relief for the video games industry

12.   Cutting the investment allowances for industry and deterring new production improvements

13.   Introducing more complexity into the regulation of financial services while failing to grip key regulatory requirements including credit ratings agencies, derivatives trading and interest charges for the poorest consumers

14.   Cutting local authority grant within the financial year skewed towards poorest communities most

15.   Cutting £311 million from education budgets in 2010

16.   DfE cuts to target one-to-one tuition plans

17.   Scrapping free school meal projects planned for primary schools

18.   Taking money out of the teacher training budgets

19.   Scaling back investment in post 16 educational participation projects

20.   Switching the indexation of pensions, benefits and tax credits from RPI to CPI – costing ordinary people significant sums over the years ahead

21.   Cutting over £1bn from disability living allowance with a new ‘objective’ assessment

22.   Restricting the surestart maternity grant to first child only from 2011/12

23.   Restricting the help for unemployed homeowners to average interest mortgage rate only

24.   Scrapping the ‘savings gateway’, due to commence in July, which was aimed at incentivising those on modest incomes to start saving

25.   Cutting housing benefit and the local housing allowance, forcing poorest householders potentially out of their homes

26.   Restrict tax credit thresholds and income disregards taking hundreds of millions from public

27.   Reducing the right to backdate tax credit new claims or changes of circumstance from three months to just one month – yet ‘simplifying’ taxes for the very richest with a new office for tax simplification.

28.   Removing the baby element of the child tax credit from next year

29.   Cancelling 700 school building projects – and wasting £160m in works already commissioned through Building Schools for the Future -not to mention the misinformation fiasco

30.   Scrapping ICT investment in schools and the school IT improvement agency

31.   Prioritising ‘free schools’ vanity project for Michael Gove over existing schools whose budgets will be adversely affected

32.   Threatening spending on surestart children’s centres across the country

33.   Indecision on major transport infrastructure projects

34.   Cutting the transport capital grant

35.   Scrapping the Future Jobs Fund

36.   Threatening the future of public service broadcasting with restrictive BBC policy

37.   Scrapping the UK Film Council

38.   Abolishing the RDAs

39.   Scrapping the government office network withdrawing government support for the regions.

40.   Attempting to rig the no confidence vote in a government with a failed 55% threshold proposal

41.   The planned gerrymandering the boundaries of parliamentary constituencies regardless of community boundaries and scrapping the right to a local public inquiry

42.   Refusing to improve electoral registration in urban areas and unfairly leaving millions off electoral registers

43.   Targeting local government cuts on the area based grant and hitting the flexibilities of council finances

44.   Scrapping the local area agreement performance reward grant and effectively ending partnership working between councils and central government through LAAs

45.   Reigning in the freedoms for councils to use prudential borrowing powers

46.   Threatening to repeal council powers to reject applications for houses of multiple occupation (HMOs)

47.   Abolishing primary care trusts

48.   Scrapping the right to see a GP within 48 hours

49.   Abolishing the right to be seen in accident & emergency within four hours

50.   Scrapping the 18 week target for treatment from the time of seeing GP

51.   Abolishing the 2% cap on private income for health trusts, creating massive drive to earn from private treatments, which combined with potentially lengthened treatment waits risks reintroduction of two-tier private / public health service

52.   Cancelling free swimming for under 16s and over 60s

53.   Failing to secure funding for police community support officers with potential redundancies if money not made available – and forcing police authorities to scrap new PCSO plans

54.   Cutting police authority budgets within the current financial year

55.   Threatening to abolish the requirement from 2012 that all employers enrol their employees into a pension scheme automatically

56.   Threatening to scrap the Labour government’s plans to give equal pay rights to temp staff and agency workers after 12 weeks service

57.   Cutting international development grants to promote awareness among the British for international development issues

58.   Reducing funding for back-to-work programmes beyond the future jobs fund through cuts to the working neighbourhoods fund

59.   Adversely affecting investment in literacy and numeracy training and education through cuts to working neighbourhoods fund

60.   Harming the vital investment needed to tackle teenage pregnancies through cuts to working neighbourhoods fund

61.   Reducing the road safety budgets of councils across the country

62.   Attempting to scrap free milk for under five year olds in nursery and childcare

63.   Scrapping and scaling back hundreds of playground projects across the country

64.   Inconsistent and poor industrial policy decisions including scrapping loan to Sheffield forgemasters

65.   Inhibiting local authority expenditure plans on carbon reduction and sustainability strategies

66.   Leaked plans from ministry of justice for cuts of 25% over two years in prisons, probation and court budgets

67.   Refusal by justice secretary to ring-fence funding for victims of crime services

68.   Jeopardising kickstart housing renewal programme and decent homes programme grants

69.   Threatening to scrap major investment in new search and rescue helicopters for coastguard

70.   Secrecy over compensation payments in settlement of cases against UK security services

71.   Launching review aimed at scaling back the automatic number plate recognition systems used by police in combating crime

72.   Jeopardising UK – Pakistani relations with indiscreet remarks made in India by Prime Minister

73.   The Prime Minister suggesting that Britain was the ‘junior partner’ in 1940 during the war

74.   The Prime Minister asserting that Iran has nuclear weapons and potentially fuelling Iranian propaganda

75.   Reopening Labour’s pension tax relief reforms which would have given smaller tax breaks to very richest.

76.   Refusing to give parents sufficient time to be consulted in new academy schools programme

77.   Embarking on separately elected police commissioners programme despite cost and existing scope for local government to take on greater accountability role

78.   Establishing financial inducements for councils in housing development, potentially creating challengeable conflict of interests in quasi judicial planning decisions

79.   Misleading lower paid part time public service workers who were led to believe they would not be part of the pay freeze for two years if earning under £21k, only to learn that this is a full-time-equivalent threshold.

80.   Increasing the number of ministers while attempting to decrease the number of MPs to scrutinise them

81.   Initially proposing that defendants in rape trials retain anonymity

82.   Proposing to scrap domestic violence protection orders as tool to protect victims

83.   Early closure of the low carbon buildings fund

84.   Scrapping the health protection agency

85.   Capping university places and restricting access to higher education

86.   Transferring the trident budget to the MoD and restricting defence expenditure further

87.   Restricting prison sentencing because of budget pressures rather than genuine policy

88.   Abolition of the audit commission, risking extra waste and inefficiency in local government

89.   Scrapping the sustainable development commission and the royal commission on environmental pollution, ironic gestures given the pre-election ‘vote blue go green’ message

90.   Threatening to sell off UK nature and wildlife reserves as part of DEFRA cutbacks

91.   Withdrawing grant aid from British Waterways  and risking dereliction on 2000 miles of rivers and canals

92.   Threatening to privatise the MET office, one of the world’s leading climate research organisations

93.   Budget reductions for the Environment Agency, risking higher pollution and fewer waste controls

94.   Appointing Sir Philip Green to lecture the public sector on austerity

95.   Cutting one in eight of revenue & customs staff despite an estimated £70bn of tax evasion

96.   An 11% cut in the insolvency service budget this year, curtailing investigations into failed and fraudulent company directors and preventing pursuit of consumer complaints

97.   Cancelling the planned tenant support hotline and programmes to help social tenants back into work

98.   Ending the community-owned pubs support programme previously aimed at helping retain viable local pubs in small rural communities

99.   Cuts to the Office for civil society budget for voluntary sector bodies by around a third – despite promises of a ‘big society’.

100. Putting an ideological desire to shrink the public services ahead of the economy’s needs, withdrawing billions just when economic recovery looked possible and stunting growth.

Chris Leslie is the MP for Nottingham East.

7 Responses to “Chris Leslie MP counts down 100 days of regressive government”

  1. Well it’s a good start, that’s for sure.

  2. Jackart says:

    Love it! This is a list of slashed waste. Look at all the dead quangos, pork barrell politics and wasteful spending which passed for Government under your lot.

    This just shows how profligate with other people’s money the last bunch of stellar incompetents were.

    Brown: Worst PM and Chancellor in history.

    Enjoy opposition! Of course you will, you can just scream “Cuts! Waaaaaaa!” you bunch of deficit deniers!

  3. #101 NHS foundation trusts lose access to government loans

    #102 Top-down diktat on mixed sex accommodation in hospitals (remember there was a pledge not to do that?)

    #103 NHS Chief Exec telling GPs to set up GP Consortia BEFORE Parliamentary approval of Lansley’s plans

    The NHS is being privatised before the supplicant yellow and blue Tories have even had a chance to rubberstamp the plan.

  4. mike says:

    I see Eric Pickles has got himself a £70,000 adapted Jag at our expense
    to replace a perfectly good Lexus

    let them eat cake

  5. Gez says:

    My seven year old gets free schoolmilk
    obviously a “deficit denier”

    Still Nasty Tories
    and now honeymoon is over (level in polls)
    count down until out of office

    roll on Welsh and Scots Assembly votes

  6. Jane says:

    I have always been a fan of Mr Leslie and am delighted that he is once again in Parliament. I have watched his numerous interventions on a vast array of policies with delight and as always admired his breadth of knowledge.

    However, whilst it is the job of the opposition benches to challenge after a period of time it becomes tedious. We out here, like some of the coalition policies and indeed some policies were touted before the last election. So Mr Leslie, in order to enhance your position, it would not do you any harm to agree with policy and seek to enhance the policy with your knowledge. A government in waiting must not be so negative nor in denial about issues we face.

  7. Melanie says:

    Well, this has the last straw for me im afraid. After 13 years of struggling with a partner who didnt want to work and with myself in and out of temp jobs, I found myself filing for a divorce. This new government has now has a huge impact on the way people are going to be treated.
    I have 3 children, in rented accommodaion and having to pay a £130 pm shortfall on £650pcm rent,
    I am on a 15 year council waiting list for a council house,
    I had an incentive to get back into work with the jobcentre telling me I would be over £100 better off with my daughter starting full time school.
    In the past 3 months I have sent a total of 200 cv’s to every possible local company I know and have still been turned down, even for part time and temp jobs which I need and dont mind doing.
    I have experience in a wide variety of skill but jobs nowadays mainly want drivers or a degree of some sort,
    My ex husband ran up catalogue debts in my name which I only found out when he left,
    I dont drive and with the money I get I can’t afford to learn either,
    Just heard that housing benefits are going to be cut so that means even more shortfall to pay out of mine and my childrens money,
    If there is anything I have missed then ill be sure to let you know!

    So, all you people out there who think the budgets and new government doesnt effect you, well,
    I bet you drive, have a secure job, have savings to fall back on, can pay for after school clubs for your kids and all sorts eh? Your laughin! While we, who actually want to work, are bustin our butts trying to get any dirty job to make our lives a bit easier for our kids and to pay for just a roof over our heads.
    Yes they are guttering everyone for tax and cuts but making it more difficult for the less fortunate is down right evil! It was difficult for us to begin with but now it’s IMPOSSIBLE
    I mean come on? Cutting jobs AND helpful benefits too? Doesnt make sense!
    I can see this country turning into a 3rd world country.!

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