Gordon Brown (2007-2010)

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Following Blair´s government, Gordon Brown endorsed numerous domestic reforms continuing more participation on health care, education, welfare and pensions.

On education, the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009 introduced a legislative structure for apprenticeships and the right to an internship for appropriately competent 16- to 18-year-olds, though previously the Education and Skills Act 2008 led procedures to prolong scholastic opportunities and elevated the school-leaving age to 18.

On health care Brown assured free prescription cancer medications, which became accessible in January 2009. A Health in Pregnancy Grant, which delivered economic support to expectant mothers, was also introduced.

On housing, Brown assumed to provide additional land and make house proprietorship easier with common parity structures. He sponsored an application to construct five eco-towns, every accommodation between 10,000 and 20,000 people—up to 100,000 new homes. In 2008, a Local Housing Allowance for people on low revenues or on welfares who were renting from private property owners was introduced. The Housing and Regeneration Act 2008produced a newHomes and Communities Agency, with purposes such as refining the amount and value of housing in England. Child Benefit was omitted in scheming income for Housing and Council Tax Benefit as a means of successful work motivations and the earnings of several low-income families.

Guidelines were applied providing parents with children up to the age of 16 with the legislative right to demand flexible working schedules. The Child Poverty Act 2010 set targets for governments to eliminate child poverty.An extension of 10–15 hours free nursery delivery for lacking 2-year olds was also approved. Further funds were put into tax credits for families with children. These measures allowed that child poverty fell during Brown’s premiership.

During his time in office, he worked with his Irish counterpart Brian Cowen to negotiate the devolution of policing and justice powers in Northern Ireland. An agreement was finally reached in February 2010 and the powers were passed to Northern Ireland’s government in the following April.

With the arrival of the recession, the United Kingdom was one of the major economies leading calls for fiscal action to encourage aggregate demand. Through 2008 an amount of economic actions were announced containing a temporary 2.5% cut in Value Added Tax (Sales Tax), a £145 tax cut for basic rate taxpayers, and a selection of additional actions such as a £20 billion Small Enterprise Loan Guarantee Scheme. More procedures that are partial remained revealed including training aid for the young unemployed and a £2,000 subsidy for a new car acquisition for the scrapping of a car more than 10 years old.

In spite of arriving the crisis with a modest deficit and a small level of public debt related to various European countries, the United Kingdom has been restricted in its capability to take fiscal action by the substantial weight that bank bailouts have had on public finances. Even more importantly, for instant revenue, the tax take from financial services dropped alarmingly as the crisis affected bank revenues. This was added to a substantial rise in the deficit and an increase in the national debt.

On 8 October 2008 in reply to the crisis, the Government proclaimed a bank bailout package of some £500 billion. The worldwide recession began to affect the United Kingdom throughout 2008; serious alarms were articulated about the firmness of the British banking system, mainly after major reductions in the stock market at the beginning of October, which saw Britain’s most important share index, the FTSE100, register its largest single-day fall since 1987. The plan expected to reestablish market assurance and help stabilise the British banking system, and provided for a series of short-term lends and guarantees of interbank loaning, as well as up to £50 billion of state investment in the banks themselves.

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