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Fair rules for strong communities

2 December 2008
CAB/115/08

The Prime Minister sets out the Government's 'fair rules' agenda today, outlining a wide range of policy initiatives designed to support strong communities.

Published on the eve of the Queen's speech the 'Fair Rules for Strong Communities' strategy sets out a comprehensive series of reforms covering welfare reform, crime and policing, children and young people, business rules, immigration and communities, which are designed to bring people together and steer the country through the global economic downturn.

Building on the action taken to deliver real economic help to families and businesses, the strategy sets out over fifty measures to strengthen the rules that tie communities together, strengthen enforcement, and provide for clearer consequences for rule-breakers. This includes a new 'one strike rule' for benefits cheats under which they could lose their benefits for up to four weeks.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown said:

"We believe in providing real help for families and business now, when they need it. But it also means taking action to ensure our communities are strong. Stronger communities, quite simply, will help our country come through these times faster and stronger.

"So as government takes action, we expect people to play their part in return, with clear consequences for those who do not. In a fair society that is what people would expect.

"In Britain, we have always believed there can never be one rule for some, and another rule for others. Rules must apply to individuals, communities and businesses alike."

Communities Secretary Hazel Blears said:

"People want to see fair rules that apply to everyone, and have a fair say in their communities. This is particularly true in tough economic times. We are - and will continue - to support people who really need our help. But, no-one should be in any doubt if you intend to take more out of the system then you put in, you won't get away with it. Rights matched by responsibilities: that's the fair way."

Major steps being taken by Government to promote and maintain fair rules in key areas include:

Welfare reform...

Crime and policing...

Children and young people...

Businesses and town centres...

Immigration...

Empowerment...

Notes to editors:

  1. For more details on specific policies please contact the relevant department press office:
    • Communities and Local Government - 0207 944 4605
    • Home Office - 0207 035 3535
    • Ministry of Justice - 0203 334 3536
    • Department for Work and Pensions - 0207 962 8000
    • DCSF - 0870 0002288
  2. The Department for Work and Pensions have today published the Gregg Review - setting out how more people can be helped off benefits and into work. The Prime Minister and Work and Pensions Secretary, James Purnell, will be visiting a Pathway-To-Work venture, a service which helps give the unemployed the tools and training to get back into the jobs market. Pictures will be pooled in the usual way.
  3. Fair Rules for Strong Communities [PDF, 1.2mb, 65 pages] is a cross government report produced by Communities and Local Government and the Prime Minister's Strategy Unit, working with other government departments.