Richard G. Clark

At a Glance – Labour’s achievements

If anyone says that politics can’t make a difference or that all parties are the same, then look what we’ve achieved together since 1997. Whether it is early years’ education, healthcare, social housing or pensioner support, the work we have all done in the past 13 years has helped make our country a better place. That is the Britain we’ve been building together - the change we chose.

Here are just some of the things we have achieved together:

  1. A rising National Minimum Wage - the annual uprating benefits around 1 million people a year.
  2. The shortest waiting times since NHS records began.
  3. Three million more operations carried out each year than in 1997, with more than double the number of heart operations.
  4. Over 44,000 more doctors.
  5. Over 89,000 more nurses
  6. Over three quarters of GP practices now offer extended opening hours for at least one evening or weekend session a week.
  7. All prescriptions are now free for people being treated for cancer or the effects of cancer, and teenage girls are offered a vaccination against cervical cancer.
  8. The NHS can now guarantee that you will see a cancer specialist within two weeks if your GP suspects you may have cancer. Whatever your condition, you will not have to wait more than 18 weeks from GP referral to the start of hospital treatment – and most waits are much shorter than this.
  9. Over a 100 new hospital building schemes completed.
  10. 12 million pensioners benefiting from increased Winter Fuel Payments.
  11. 900,000 pensioners lifted out of poverty.
  12. 500,000 children lifted out of relative poverty and measures already being put in place will lift around a further 500,000 children out of poverty.
  13. Free TV licences for over-75s.
  14. The New Deal has helped over 2.2 million people into work.
  15. Over 4.8 million Child Trust Funds have been started.
  16. 3,500 Sure Start Children’s Centres opened, reaching over 2.8 million children and their families.
  17. Over 42,000 more teachers and 212,000 more support staff, including 123,000 more teaching assistants, than in 1997.
  18. There have been around 3,700 rebuilt and significantly refurbished schools; including new and improved classrooms, laboratories and kitchens.
  19. A free nursery place for every 3 and 4 year old - extended to 15 hours per week this year and we are beginning to provide 10 hours a week to the most deprived 2 year olds.
  20. Doubled the number of registered childcare places to more than 1.3 million, one for every four children under eight years old.
  21. More young people attending university than ever before.
  22. More than doubled the number of apprenticeships starts, with figures for 2008/9 showing 240,000 started an apprenticeship this year compared to 75,000 in 1997.
  23. In 1997 more than half of all schools saw less that 30 per cent of their pupils fail to get 5 good GCSEs including English and Maths. Now only 247 schools – less than one in twelve - fail this benchmark and we are guaranteeing that no school should fail this mark after 2011.
  24. We have increased school funding to support the delivery of higher standards. Between 1997-98 and 2009-10, total funding per pupil has more than doubled from £3,030 in 1997-98 to £6,350 in 2009-10 in real terms, an increase of 110 per cent.
  25. The Northern Ireland peace process.
  26. The car scrappage scheme, where owners scrapping an old car receive £2,000 off the price of a new car, has assisted with over 380,000 orders being placed, keeping the automotive industry and its supply chain on its feet
  27. The UK is now smokefree, with no smoking in most enclosed public places.
  28. The UK’s greenhouse gas emissions are now 21 per cent below 1990 levels, beating our Kyoto target.
  29. Over £20 billion invested in bringing social housing to decent standards.
  30. Rough sleeping has dropped by two thirds and homelessness is at its lowest level since the early 1980s.
  31. Free off-peak travel on buses anywhere in England for over-60s and disabled people.
  32. Since 1997 overall crime is down 36 per cent; domestic burglary is down 54 per cent; vehicle related crime is down 57 per cent; and violent crime is down 41 per cent.
  33. A new flexible Australian-style points-based system for immigration to ensure only those economic migrants who have the skills our economy needs can come to work in the UK.
  34. Police numbers up by almost 17,000 since 1997, alongside more than 16,000 Police Community Support Officers.
  35. Every community now has its own dedicated neighbourhood police team, easily contactable by the people who live in that community and working with them to agree local priorities and deal with people’s concerns.
  36. Equalised the age of consent and repealed Section 28.
  37. Through the introduction of civil partnerships, Labour has for the first time given legal recognition to same-sex partners. Gay couples now have the same inheritance, pension and next-of-kin rights as married couples.
  38. Tripled Britain’s overseas aid budget. UK aid helps lift an estimated 3 million people out of poverty every year.
  39. Cancelled up to 100 per cent of debt for the world’s poorest countries.
  40. Britain now has more offshore wind capacity than any country in the world. Wind last year provided enough electricity to power 2 million homes.
  41. Embarked on the biggest program of council house building for twenty years.
  42. Launched the Swimming Challenge Fund to support free swimming for over 60s and under 16s.
  43. Banned fox hunting.
  44. Led the campaign to win the 2012 Olympics for London. Today the programme remains on time and on budget with over 40 per cent of the construction programme completed and all major venues under construction.
  45. Free admission to our national museums and galleries.
  46. Devolution in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, an elected Mayor and Assembly for London and directly-elected mayors for those cities that want them.
  47. Created a new right of pedestrian access to the English coast, so that every family has the opportunity to enjoy the length and breadth of our coastline.
  48. In Europe we signed the Social Chapter and introduced measures including: four weeks’ paid holiday; a right to parental leave; extended maternity leave; a new right to request flexible working; and the same protection for part-time workers as full-time workers.
  49. Led efforts to agree a new international convention banning all cluster munitions and made Britain one of the first countries to ratify a convention to ban anti-personnel landmines
  50. Introduced the first ever British Armed Forces and Veterans Day to honour the achievements of our Armed Forces – both past and present.

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