Westminster News

LADY THATCHER 1925-2013

David Cameron: "It was with great sadness that I learned of Lady Thatcher's death. We have lost a great leader, a great Prime Minister, and a great Briton."

TAX CUTS HELP HARD-WORKING FAMILIES

New figures released today reveal that council tax across England has been cut in real terms this year. Council tax doubled under Labour hitting hard-working families and squeezing household budgets. Under the Coalition Government's council tax freeze initiative bills were frozen last year and this year the change will be just 0.3 per cent - well below the rate of inflation. This will save the average family up to £72 a year, thanks to the Government reversing the trend set by Labour.

'MANSION TAX' - AN INJUSTICE AND AN ERROR

A so-called “mansion tax” may appear to embody a particular notion of fairness. One would think from the rhetoric that high-value homes all belonged to wicked billionaires, oligarchs and non-doms. One would think that owning such a home were inherently unjust. Far from it.

Reforms making the NHS more accountable

One of the great things about the Coalition’s Health and Social Care Bill now going through Parliament is the creation of Health & Wellbeing Boards (HWBs). They are intended to provide a practical link from the local NHS to the community, something that is lacking in the current centralised NHS structure. HWBs are the outcome of a listening exercise the Government undertook last year. The Coalition amended its plans to take into account the views of elected members of local authorities and interest groups but also the doctors who were forming clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), local authority directors and directors of public health.

STEVE BAKER QUESTIONS DAVID CAMERON ON WYCOMBE HOSPITAL

Wycombe MP Steve Baker questioned David Cameron about Wycombe Hospital during Prime Minister’s Questions in the Commons today, Wednesday 8 February 2012. On a day when PMQs were dominated by Health Service reforms, Steve said he’d visited the offices of the Bucks Free Press to see readers’ reactions to the proposed changes affecting Wycombe Hospital. He told the Prime Minister that Labour had left a tragic legacy of distrust and despair about the NHS locally and asked whether the right way to restore trust and accountability was clinical commissioning and Foundation Trust status. The Prime Minister agreed and drew attention to how Labour had undermined community hospitals.

Banking reforms welcomed

The report from the Independent Commission on Banking (ICB) has been welcomed by the Government as an important step towards a new banking system that supports lending, the economy and jobs.

Budget to fuel growth

The Chancellor has delivered his Budget to the House of Commons, pledging to "put fuel into the tank of the British economy".