29. June 2009 12:43
I have today published the Government’s plan for Building Britain’s Future. It is a radical vision for a fairer, stronger and more prosperous society for all.
We have made enormous strides, driving up standards of health care and education; cutting crime and poverty; and harnessing Britain’s economic potential.
The country has been transformed and I am proud that Britain is now a better place to live.
But I am determined that in this time of profound change, driven by the global economic downturn and the crisis of trust in our political system, the Government will work even harder for you.
We plan to make public services more accountable: access to a cancer specialist within two weeks, free health-checks for those aged 40-74 and patients entitled to hospital treatment within 18 weeks.
Parents will be guaranteed an education tailored to their child, with a personal tutor for every secondary school pupil and catch up tuition, including one-to-one, for those who need it.
And residents will have the right to hold the police to account at monthly beat meetings, get a say on CCTV and vote on how offenders pay back the community.
All these commitments will come with proper systems of redress if they are not met.
The severe global downturn has threatened our jobs and homes here in the UK, leaving many of you understandably anxious about the future for you and your children.
We will not make the same mistakes of past recessions by losing another generation to work. This is a price we are not prepared to pay. From next spring everyone under 25 who has been out of work for a year will be guaranteed a job, training or work experience place. And they will have to take that offer.
From September every 16 and 17 year old will receive an offer of a school or college place or an apprenticeship.
Carefully targeted investment of an extra £1.5 billion over the next two years will also deliver an additional 20,000 new affordable homes and create 45,000 jobs. And new guidance will allow local authorities more flexibility on how they allocate council houses.
We have already started the process of cleaning up politics and more action will follow to restore confidence in our democratic institutions.
But today is just the start.
And we want to know your ideas on how we build a better future for Britain – one that’s fairer, more prosperous and responsible. I look forward to hearing from you.