Coalition u-turns: The government is for turning

 

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

William Hague, Foreign Secretary

Plan to make to cut the money the Foreign Office contributes to the World Service. It will now provide an extra £2.2 million of funding to shore up the corporation's Arabic Service after widespread criticism.

Cost: £2.2 million



HM Treasury

George Osborne

U-Turn: Keeping universal child benefit. He announced at the Tory party conference in October that would be ended for top rate tax payers.

Cost: Saving £1 billion

Ministry of Justice

Kenneth Clarke

U-Turns: Mandatory jail terms for people caught carrying a knife; 50 per cent reductions in sentences for people pleading guilty at the earliest opportunity; Anonymity for rape suspects.

Cost: Unknown at this stage

Home Office

Theresa May

U-Turn: Proposal to allow police to use water cannon in riots; may yet be forced to back down on introducing directly elected police commissioners.

Cost of U-Turn: None

Ministry of Defence

Liam Fox

U-Turn: Backed down on his refusal to put the military covenant (which would enshrine rights to healthcare, housing and education) on a legal footing.

Cost: Unknown

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

Vince Cable

U-Turn: Pledge to introduce a graduate tax instead of increasing tuition fees; Educational Maintenance Grants of £30 a week to poorer sixth-formers was due to be scrapped without replacement but a cheaper bursary scheme was announced after an outcry

Cost: Increases in revenue from tuition fees but £180 million for bursaries.

Department for Work and Pensions

Iain Duncan Smith

U-Turn: Scrapped plans to cut Housing benefit by 10 per cent from people on Job-seeker's allowance after a year; Due to water down plans to increase the age at which women can claim the basic state pension to 65.

Cost: Unknown at this stage

Department of Energy and Climate Change

Chris Huhne

U-Turn: None as a minister but backed plans for a new generation of nuclear power stations despite long-standing opposition to nuclear power.

Cost: None

Department of Health

Andrew Lansley

U-Turn: Wholesale changes to NHS reforms including plans to give GPs total power over commissioning; promoting competition in the NHS; and allowing any private company to provide NHS services

Cost: Unknown

Department for Education

Michael Gove

U-Turn: Plan to scrap free school milk at nurseries for the under-fives; Scrapping the School Sports Partnerships; The end of the Bookstart scheme giving free books for children.

Cost: Over £100 million

Department for Communities and Local Government

Eric Pickles

U-Turn: Pledge to force councils to carry out weekly bin collections; plan to create ‘shadow Mayors’ for large cities.

Cost: Saving of £500 million over four years

Department for Transport

Philip Hammond

U-Turn: Plan to cut the number of coastguard stations around Britain from 18 to eight.

Cost: £40 million

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Caroline Spelman

U-Turn: Plans to sell off 258,000 hectares of Forestry Commission land to the private sector.

Cost: £250 million

Department for International Development

Andrew Mitchell

U-Turn: Plans to stop £280 million a year of aid to India after claiming that the country could be considered too wealthy to receive aid.

Cost: None as the DFID budget in being increased.

Cabinet Office

Francis Maude

U-Turn: None so far but watch for the Government’s much anticipated White Paper on public services.

No U-Turns



Department for Culture, Media and Sport

Jeremy Hunt

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