National News

For millions of people, an apprenticeship is the key to getting on in life.

It gives them the chance to learn skills, earn a salary and gain vital qualifications.

Since 2010, we’ve created 1.8 million apprenticeships. That means young people up and down the country are kick-starting their working lives and fulfilling their potential.

Today we’re launching a campaign to encourage even more young people to start an apprenticeship. There’s now a greater variety and quality of apprenticeships on offer, with new employer-designed apprenticeships in sectors such as engineering, hospitality and the legal profession.

By delivering the best skills, we’re helping young people get on in life and ensuring Britain succeeds in the global race.

Apprenticeships are a vital part of our long-term economic plan to secure a stronger, healthier economy – and a better future for Britain.


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Families are at the heart of our long-term economic plan.

Supporting family life helps secure a better future for the next generation. That’s why we’re doing all we can to help families by:

1. Supporting parents

We’re nearly doubling the annual relationship support budget to £19.5m, helping more families stay together.

2. Helping troubled families

We’re extending our support programme for troubled families, helping with problems such as unemployment, debt and truancy. That will give many of our most vulnerable children a more stable and secure start in life.

3. Giving more children a family

The number of adoptions increased by a quarter last year, thanks to more financial support for councils and voluntary groups, and speeding up the adoption process. These improvements balance the need to find families for children with robust checks of adoptive parents.

We’re now going even further. From this year, all school children adopted from care will benefit from £1,900 of pupil premium money; and from next year, adoptive parents will receive more help with our new £19m Adoption Support Fund.

4. Putting families at the heart of our plan

Every single domestic policy that we propose will be examined for its impact on the family – and only approved if it passes the ‘family test’. That ensures the family is always at the heart of our long-term economic plan.

By supporting families in all that we do, we’re helping secure a stronger society today and a better future for Britain tomorrow.

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Small businesses are the lifeblood of the economy – and we’re doing all we can to back them.

Under Labour, businesses were hit with higher taxes and more regulations. Labour didn’t understand that the key to growth and jobs is helping businesses, not punishing them.

With the Conservatives, there’s never been a better time to start a business – there are now 400,000 more businesses than there were in 2010.

More and more people are choosing to start a business from home. So today we’re helping Britain’s home businesses by:

  • Making it easier to run a business from a rented home
  • Ensuring that the majority of home businesses are exempt from business rates

These changes will help more businesses start up and keep the recovery going.

It’s the latest part of our long-term economic plan to secure a healthier economy and a better future for Britain. The drive, graft and courage of business owners are leading the recovery – and the Conservatives are on their side.

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Jobs up. Unemployment down. More people getting on in life. Today’s employment figures are an important step forward for Britain:

1. Unemployment down 437,000 in the last year – the biggest fall in 25 years

2. Employment up 820,000 in the last year – equivalent to 15,000 more people in work every week.

There are now 1.8 million more people in work than there were in 2010. What’s more, 90% of jobs created in the last three months are full-time (ONS, Labour Market Statistics, August 2014, 13 August 2014).


3. Long-term unemployment down 171,000 in the last year – the biggest fall since 1998

4. Youth unemployment down 206,000 in the last year – the biggest fall in 30 years

These figures mean more hardworking taxpayers with the security of a pay packet to provide for themselves and their families.

Our long-term economic plan is building a healthier economy and a better future for Britain. Today’s figures show the plan is working – but it’s far from finished.

The biggest risk to people’s jobs is Labour. Their only plan for the economy is more spending, more borrowing and higher taxes – including taxes on jobs – for which hardworking taxpayers would pay the price.

We need to continue working through our plan so even more people have the opportunity to get into work and get on in life – and secure a better future for themselves and their children.

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Oh dear. Just two weeks after Ed Miliband was caught using the wrong statistics, Labour have done it again.

The UK Statistics Authority, the official statistics watchdog, says Labour have been using ‘factually incorrect’ figures.

Chuka Umunna, Labour’s Shadow Business Secretary, had claimed that the number of young people on unemployment benefit had gone up by 60% since May 2010, with the number of claimants in the North East rising by 263%.


The official figures show that the actual number of young people claiming JSA fell by 38% nationwide and by 27% in the North East.

While Labour said one thing, the facts said the complete opposite.

It isn’t the first time that the Statistics Authority has rebuked Labour over their numbers.

Ed Miliband recently tried to claim that four in five private sector jobs since 2010 were created in London. But the official figures showed that only 21.7% of new private sector jobs were created in London – just over one in five.

While the Labour leader said one thing, the facts said something completely different.

If Labour keep making basic mistakes with their numbers, how can anyone trust them with the economy?

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Labour’s latest tax rise won’t just increase your tax bill – it will put jobs at risk too.

Labour are planning a 1% hike in National Insurance (Source: The Independent, 2 June 2014), which would hit taxpayers with a £3.7bn tax rise – an increase of £169 for someone on the average wage.

That would make hardworking taxpayers less financially secure – and also put jobs at risk by:

  • Increasing tax on employers by £4.7bn – a hike of £3,600 per business
  • Raising the jobs tax by an average of £165 for every person a business employs
  • Costing small and medium-sized businesses 57,000 jobs – and up to 96,000 job losses in the private sector

Labour just don’t get it. They still think that you can increase taxes without consequences. They can’t see that if you increase taxes on businesses and make it more expensive to employ people, more people will end up out of work.

While our long-term economic plan is building a healthier economy with more people in work than ever before, Labour would put it all at risk.

We can’t let Labour wreck the recovery with yet another tax rise that would hit hardworking taxpayers, cost jobs, and wreck the recovery.

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Our welfare reforms are getting people back to work.

Under Labour, too many families were trapped in a cycle of welfare dependency: 1.4 million people spent the best part of a decade on benefits, and the number of households where no one had ever worked doubled.

But we’re fixing Labour’s mess. Our welfare reforms are providing a safety net for those in need while rewarding the willingness to work by:

  • Capping benefits so no out-of-work household can claim more in benefits than the average family earns in work
  • Stopping benefits rising faster than wages
  • Setting a limit on Britain’s overall welfare budget

These reforms are delivering real results, with more people in work today than ever before.

It’s a key part of our long-term economic plan. By getting Britain working, we’re building a healthier economy – one that’s on the side of hardworking taxpayers and that gives new opportunities to people who had been written off under Labour.

It’s now vital that we continue to work through our welfare reforms – to secure a better future for Britain.

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Labour should extend their planned tax on the family home to properties worth £400,000 in the North of England, according to a senior party figure.

This would mean 210,000 more families being hit by Labour’s homes tax.  

Claire Reynolds, a senior Labour figure and a councillor in Tameside, Greater Manchester, is quoted in the Sunday Express (10th Aug 2014) saying plans to limit the tax to homes worth at least £2million were “ludicrous”.

She said ‘mansions’ were available for £400,000 in parts of Greater Manchester.

Labour have always denied that their homes tax would be expanded to include more and more families, but this shows the idea is being openly discussed.

At a conference of the Labour-supporting Progress think tank, Reynolds urged Labour to “squeeze the rich in a number of ways” including extending their planned homes tax to even more families:

“In the North there are people who could be paying more and aren’t… In Stalybridge I haven’t seen a house advertised at over £500,000 and we’ve got really nice mansions. There are six, seven, eight-bedroom houses there, and you can buy them…for about £400,000.

At the same conference, Mrs Reynolds also called for an increase in inheritance tax, saying: “Why be scared of it - they’re dead?”

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Labour’s out-of-control welfare system created a culture of dependency which promoted welfare at the expense of work.

Under their system, some people were claiming £104,000 a year of hardworking taxpayers’ money in housing benefit to live in expensive areas.

Since we came into office, we’ve been building a welfare system that provides a safety net for those in need, while rewarding those who want to work hard and get on in life.

We’ve capped benefits so no family can claim more than the average family gets by going out to work and we’ve put an end to unlimited housing benefit.

But Labour haven’t learnt their lesson.

They voted against our housing benefit cap, they voted against our overall cap on benefits and they still plan to borrow and spend more by restoring the spare room subsidy – landing future generations with more debt than they can ever hope to repay.


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