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The 37 Acts the Coalition has passed so far

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By Matthew Barrett
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The legislative session which began in 2010 is finally coming to an end. In the session, nearly 40 Bills have been passed, a number of them significant Bills which helped deal with Labour's legacy. Listed below are some of the session's key achievements, which I have summarised from a Conservative press release:

  • The Welfare Reform Act caps the total amount a household can receive in benefits to the average of household earnings, so that no household can receive more than £26,000 a year. The Government also capped Housing Benefit to stop the situation under Labour where one family alone could get over £100,000 in Housing Benefit.
  • The Education Act gives teachers new legal powers to root out poor behaviour. This includes the power for schools to search pupils without consent for any dangerous or banned items, and the removal of rules that prevent schools from issuing detentions to pupils without providing 24 hours notice.
  • The Armed Forces Act enshrines the Military Covenant into law for the first time and commits Parliament to conducting a regular review of the covenant.
  • The Localism Act shifts power from Whitehall to local communities, wiping away unpopular town hall interferences and cutting red tape. Powers transferred include giving councils greater control of local business rates.
  • Council tax has been cut in real terms this year, after a second year of the council tax freeze.
  • Biggest ever increase in the Basic State Pension. The Government has decided that State Pensions will be up-rated by earnings, prices or 2.5% – whichever is highest. In April this year, the basic state pension rose by £5.30 per week – the biggest cash rise ever.
  • Reinvigorated the Right to Buy. The Government has reinvigorated the Right to Buy scheme by offering tenants in social housing a discount of up to £75,000 when buying their home.
  • The European Union Act makes provision for Britons to have their say on any proposed transfer of powers from the United Kingdom to the EU. This means that if a change to an EU treaty is proposed that moves powers or areas of policy from the UK to the EU, the Government will have to get the British people’s consent in a national referendum before it can be agreed. The Government also says it has ended Britain's participation in European Union bailouts, agreed to by Alistair Darling.
  • The Academies Act means the Secretary of State for Education can now grant academy status to any school and allow new Free Schools to be set up. More than 2,000 schools have applied for academy status and more than 1,400 have already converted. Hundreds of groups of parents, teachers and charities have also applied to set up Free Schools, and 24 opened within the Coalition’s first 18 months.
  • The Work Programme replaced Labour's patchwork of welfare to work schemes with one programme, designed to as many Britons as possible back into employment, including claimants of Jobseeker’s Allowance and those claiming Employment and Support Allowance. The programme rewards service providers on a results basis, to better ensure people find sustained employment.
  • Most importantly, the Emergency Budget laid out a deficit reduction plan, which gained the confidence of the markets, and contributed towards keeping interest rates low.
A full list of the 37 Acts passed in this legislative session:
  1. Academies Act
  2. Appropriation (No. 3) Act
  3. Appropriation Act
  4. Armed Forces Act
  5. Budget Responsibility and National Audit Act
  6. Charities Act
  7. Consolidated Fund Act
  8. Consumer Insurance (Disclosure and Representations) Act
  9. Education Act
  10. Energy Act
  11. Equitable Life (Payments) Act
  12. European Union Act
  13. Finance (No. 2) Act
  14. Finance (No. 3) Act
  15. Finance Act
  16. Fixed-term Parliaments Act
  17. Health and Social Care Act
  18. Identity Documents Act
  19. Loans to Ireland Act
  20. Local Government Act
  21. Localism Act
  22. London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (Amendment) Act
  23. National Insurance Contributions Act
  24. Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act
  25. Pensions Act
  26. Police (Detention and Bail) Act
  27. Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act
  28. Postal Services Act
  29. Public Bodies Act
  30. Savings Accounts and Health in Pregnancy Grant Act
  31. Sovereign Grant Act
  32. Superannuation Act
  33. Supply and Appropriation (Anticipation and Adjustments) Act
  34. Supply and Appropriation (Main Estimates) Act
  35. Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures Act
  36. Terrorist Asset-Freezing etc. Act
  37. Welfare Reform Act

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