United Kingdom coalition government (2010–present)

United Kingdom coalition government (2010–present)

The Conservative – Liberal Democrat coalition is the present Government of the United Kingdom, formed after the 2010 general election. The Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats entered into discussions which culminated in the 2010 coalition agreement, setting out a programme for government until the next general election, scheduled for 2015.

Notably, the government's aim has been to reduce the government debt over the five year parliament. The current government is the first formal coalition since the National Government formed during World War II.


Coalition agreement

The initial agreement between the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats spelled out eleven key areas on which the coalition would focus.[1]

  1. Deficit reduction
  2. A spending review - concerning the National Health Service, schools and a "fairer society"
  3. Tax measures
  4. Banking reform
  5. Immigration
  6. Political reform (including changes to the electoral system)
  7. Pensions and welfare
  8. Education
  9. The UK's relationship with the European Union
  10. Civil liberties
  11. The environment

A final agreement followed.[2]

Coalition members

Following the general election, negotiations took place between the Liberal Democrats and the Labour Party, and between the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives. It became clear that Labour and the Liberal Democrats could not form a coalition government, while David Cameron made a "big, open, comprehensive offer" to the Liberal Democrats to form a coalition with them. Having agreed on a coalition, David Cameron (Con) accepted the Queen's invitation to form the government as Prime Minister, with George Osborne (Con) as the Chancellor of the Exchequer, William Hague (Con) as the Foreign Secretary, Theresa May (Con) as Home Secretary, while other key positions went to Nick Clegg (Lib Dem) as the Deputy Prime Minister, Liam Fox (Con) as Defence Secretary, Michael Gove (Con) as Education Secretary, Andrew Lansley (Con) as Health Secretary, Vince Cable (Lib Dem) as Business Secretary and Kenneth Clarke (Con) as Justice Secretary. One early resignation from the government was David Laws, initially appointed as Chief Secretary to the Treasury, but who quickly announced his departure as it was revealed that he had been claiming expenses to hide his relationship with long-term partner James Lundie. The Constitution Unit conducted a year-long research project into the coalition, interviewing 120 Parliamentarians, civil servants and ministers, and concluded that the coalition hasn’t been beset by partisan rancour but has been remarkably stable and decisive. [3]

Policy changes introduced

2010 budget

Public spending cuts

NHS Job Shop in Kentish Town closed due to spending cuts

The coalition government (sometimes referred to as the 'Con-Dem' pact) has instituted cuts which have closed several services. The closure programme was initially focused upon public bodies funded by government, often known as quangos, which were abolished or merged. By July 2010, a total of 54 such bodies had either been abolished or had their funding withdrawn.[4] In October 2010 a list of 192 quangos to be abolished was officially released, with 118 to be merged.[5] These include:

In addition, several agencies will merge:[4]

A number of agencies including the Student Loans Company and the Central Office of Information were marked 'Under consideration' in the official Government release, subject to future reviews by the end of 2010.[6]

The coalition government has also closed a number of programmes or services provided directly by Government Departments, such as the public health National Support Teams.

Legislation enacted

  • Academies Act 2010
  • Appropriation (No. 3) Act 2010
  • Appropriation Act 2011
  • Armed Forces Act 2011
  • Budget Responsibility and National Audit Act 2011
  • Consolidated Fund Act 2010
  • Education Act 2011
  • Energy Act 2011
  • Equitable Life (Payments) Act 2010
  • European Union Act 2011
  • Finance (No. 2) Act 2010
  • Finance (No. 3) Act 2010
  • Finance Act 2011
  • Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011
  • Identity Documents Act 2010
  • Loans to Ireland Act 2010
  • Local Government Act 2010
  • Localism Act 2011
  • National Insurance Contributions Act 2011
  • Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act 2011
  • Pensions Act 2011
  • Police (Detention and Bail) Act 2011
  • Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011
  • Postal Services Act 2011
  • Savings Accounts and Health in Pregnancy Grant Act 2010
  • Superannuation Act 2010
  • Supply and Appropriation (Main Estimates) Act 2011
  • Terrorist Asset-Freezing etc. Act 2010

Legislation proposed

  • Health and Social Care Bill
  • Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill
  • Protection of Freedoms Bill
  • Public Bodies Bill
  • Scotland Bill
  • Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures Bill
  • Welfare Reform Bill

See also


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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