Conservative Diary

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Party Conference policy announcements rolling blog

10.30am Wednesday update

  • Community sentences to deliver "proper punishment". Legislation to make sure there is a punitive element as part of every community order.
  • Two strikes and you're out. Those who commit the most serious" violent or sexual crimes more than once will face automatic life sentences. Those given two prison terms lasting more than 10 years would be upgraded to the greater punishment.
  • "A clear plan for change on human rights."
  • Victims to have a say in punishment. Victims of anti-social behaviour given the power to demand compensation or order yobs to carry out repairs and clean up parks

12.15pm update

  • The Department of Health and the Care Quality Commission review to make sure managers are held accountable for the care they provide, both in the NHS and social care sectors.
  • From next year all hospitals will be assessed against the number of patients who would recommend the care they received to friends or family.
  • From April next year a guarantee of access to all innovative radiotherapy wherever clinically appropriate and cost-effective.
  • A £100m fund to help nurses use technology to reduce form-filling and increase patient time.

Noon. Tuesday

  • Greater protection for householders who attack burglars. "Grossly disproportionate" force will still be against the law, but the bar will be set higher than the current "proportionate" force test.
  • A further £10 billion cut in welfare spending by 2016-17. Partly to be achieved through ending Housing Benefit for those under 25 and through there being financial consequences for those who have more children.
  • Employees allowed to forgo rights for shares. Employees will be given between £2,000 and £50,000 of shares that are exempt from capital gains tax.  In exchange, they will give up their UK rights on unfair dismissal, redundancy, and the right to request flexible working and time off for training, and will be required provide 16 weeks’ notice of a firm date of return from maternity leave, instead of the usual eight. Owner-employee status will be optional for existing employees, but both established companies and new start-ups can choose to offer only this new type of contract for new hires.
  • Government action to stimulate shale gas investment
  • There will be a funded Council Tax freeze for a third year. The Government will set aside an extra £450 million to help freeze council tax bills in England. The support for local authorities means that taxpayers living in an average Band D home in England could save up to £72 on a five per cent rise in council tax. Local authorities who wish to reduce their council tax in absolute cash terms are still also eligible to receive the grant. Local authorities who choose to increase their council tax will not be eligible for the grant scheme.
  • In 2013-14 the Council Tax referendum threshold will be lowered to 2%. This  
    means if a local authority seeks to raise its relevant basic amount of council tax by more than  2%, local people would have the right to keep council tax bills down through a binding referendum veto.
  • There will be no Mansion Tax, Wealth Tax or new Council Tax bands
  • Trade union facility time will be restricted. Full time trade union officials will need special Ministerial approval..
  • Bank fines to be used to support Britain’s Armed Forces community.
  • Government investment secures £1 billion for university and private research.
  • Civil servants to receive 10 days' paid leave for Reserves training.
  • Children of military personnel who have died in service will now be eligible to access the Service Premium. Also children of military personnel will continue to qualify after their parents have left the Armed Forces, up to a maximum of six years.
  • Reduced cap on rail fare rises. Passengers will benefit from a cut of up to 2% to the planned rises in the cost of nationwide train travel and travel on London buses and tubes.


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