2011: A Tough Year But a Year of Achievements Nonetheless

Overall 2011 has been a challenging year not least with the financial crisis in the Eurozone, but a year of achievements nonetheless.

2011 has been a tough year financially, but it has also been rewarding in many other ways, with many great successes and achievements.

Our government has steered Britain through the global debt storm with its credible deficit reduction plan which has ensured UK market interest rates on government debt have fallen to record lows.

We have also cut income tax for 25million people, frozen council tax for the second year running and cut fuel duty to 10p lower than would have been set under Labour.

This government has also seen the biggest increase in the State Pension since 1948, so as from April next year State pensions will be uprated by earnings, prices or 2.5% - whichever is highest, raising the basic state pension by £5.30 a week.

Alongside this we have seen the largest ever increase in the Child Tax Credit, by £225. This is due to increase again in April next year by a further 5.2%.

In business and banking we have also seen great progress. In January the government imposed a levy on the balance sheet of UK banks and building societies and to the UK operations of banks from abroad. This is expected to raise £2.5 billion a year. We have also got credit flowing to small businesses and created 24 new Enterprise Zones across the country.

This government has shown commitment and enthusiasm toward the National Health Service by reinvesting into its core function of frontline patient service. This means there are now more 3,500 more doctors, and a smaller but more manageable bureaucracy.

There is also now much better access to cancer drugs. The government has introduced a £200 million per year Cancer Drugs Fund which has already been able to give 5,000 patients the cancer drugs they need.

Britain remains an important part of the international community. This year we have been leading the international efforts to support the Libyan people in their hour of need, preventing the massacre of thousands of innocent civilians under Colonel Gaddafi and his troops and supporting their wish to elect their own democratic government.

This government remains loyal to protecting Britain's national interest in Europe. Our European Union Act ensures that in future, changes to the EU treaties that moves power from the UK to the EU is proposed, the UK Government cannot act without the consent from the British people in a national referendum. The Prime Minister also made it clear before the EU Summit on the 8-9th December that Britain's national interests remain at the heart of decisions, and Britain would only agree a new treaty if modest, reasonable safeguards were obtained.

Overall 2011 has been a challenging year not least with the financial crisis in the Eurozone, but a year of achievements nonetheless.


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