Conservative Manifesto 2010 Change the Economy Ensure The Whole Country Shares in Rising Prosperity
We will increase the private sector’s share of the economy in all regions of the country, especially outside London and the South East.
Too many areas of the UK lack a vibrant private sector and are too dependent on public spending. these regional imbalances have got worse over the last decade, despite billions of pounds spent by the regional Development
Agencies (RDAs). Our aim is to increase the private sector’s share of the economy in every part of the country by boosting enterprise and creating a better business environment. We will work closely with local government, and with the Scottish Parliament, Welsh assembly and northern ireland assembly, to achieve this goal.
Create a modern transport network
A rebalanced economy requires an extensive and reliable infrastructure. but transport has been a low priority for Labour, and the hassle of getting around is bad for business, bad for families and bad for everyone’s quality of life.
a Conservative government will begin work immediately to create a high speed rail line connecting London and heathrow with birmingham, manchester and Leeds. this is the first step towards achieving our vision of creating a national high speed rail network to join up major cities across england, Scotland and Wales. Stage two will deliver two new lines bringing the north east, Scotland and Wales into the high speed rail network.
because travel abroad is so important for our economy and for family holidays, we need to improve our airports and reduce the environmental impact of flying. Our goal is to make heathrow airport better, not bigger. We will stop the third runway and instead link heathrow directly to our high speed rail network, providing an alternative to thousands of flights. In addition, we will:
• block plans for second runways at Stansted and gatwick; and,
• reform air Passenger Duty to encourage a switch to fuller and cleaner planes. to improve life for commuters and encourage people to switch to lower carbon public transport, we will reform our railways to provide a better focus on tackling problems that matter most to passengers, such as overcrowding. We will grant longer, more flexible rail franchises to incentivise private sector investment in improvements like longer trains and better stations.
We support Crossrail and the electrification of the great Western line to South Wales. We will turn the rail regulator into a powerful passenger champion and reform network rail to make it more accountable to its customers. and we will introduce a moratorium on building on disused rail lines still in public ownership, so they are available to be re-opened.
britain has the chance to lead the world in making our transport system greener. So we will introduce incentives for electricity network operators to establish a new national car recharging network, making it much easier for drivers to move to electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. We will support sustainable travel initiatives that work best for local communities by:
• giving the concerns of cyclists much greater priority;
• encouraging partnerships between bus operators and local authorities; and,
• helping people cut down on work-related travel. We will stop central government funding for new fixed speed cameras, and switch to more effective ways to make our roads safer, including authorising ‘drugalyser’ technology for use in testing for drug-driving. We will make companies that dig up our roads get more powers to get traffic flowing more smoothly.
We will consult on the introduction of a ‘fair fuel Stabiliser’. this would cut fuel duty when oil prices rise, and vice versa. it would ensure families, businesses and the whole British economy are less exposed to volatile oil markets, and that there is a more stable environment for low carbon investment.
We want britain to become a european hub for hi-tech, digital and creative industries – but this can only happen if we have the right infrastructure in place. establishing a super fast broadband network throughout the UK could generate 600,000 additional jobs and add £18 billion to britain’s gDP.
We will scrap Labour’s phone tax and instead require bt and other infrastructure providers to allow the use of their assets to deliver superfast broadband across the country. if necessary, we will consider using the part of the licence fee that is supporting the digital switchover to fund broadband in areas that the market alone will not reach.
We will give councils and businesses the power to form their own business-led local enterprise partnerships instead of rDas. Where local councils and businesses want to maintain accountable for the congestion they cause and regionally-based enterprise partnerships, they crack down on rogue clampers. Councils will will be able to. Local government should be at the heart of our economic recovery, so we will:
• allow councils to keep above-average increases in business rate revenue so that communities which go for growth can reap the benefits;
• give councils new powers to introduce further discounts on business rates; and, • introduce an immediate freeze of, and inquiry into, the government’s punitive programme of back-dating business rates on ports.
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