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The coalition Government’s promises explained

The coalition Government’s promises explained

Category: Money

Updated: 20/05/2010
First Published: 20/05/2010

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.
Following the publication of the details of the coalition deal agreed between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats, explains the impact this could have on you and your pocket.


The Government wants to create a new framework that promotes responsible and sustainable banking, giving regulators greater power. In addition, it says that more needs to be done to protect taxpayers from financial malpractice and to help the public manage their own debts.

Key promises

To reform the banking and regulatory system to avoid a repeat of the financial crisis.

To introduce a banking levy and tackle the issue of bonuses in the financial sector.

Not to join the European Single Currency.

To create a free national financial advice service.

Consumer protection

The Government wants to further protect consumers, particularly the most vulnerable.

Key promises

To enable regulators to ban excessive interest rates on credit and store cards.

To oblige credit card companies to provide better information to their customers in a uniform electronic format that will allow consumers to find out whether they are receiving the best deal.

To bring to an end unfair bank and financial transaction charges.

To ensure that energy bills provide information on how to move to the cheapest tariff offered by their supplier, and how each household's energy usage compares to similar households.

To give Post Office Card account holders the chance to benefit from direct debit discounts and ensure that social tariffs offer access to the best prices available.

Deficit reduction

The Government wants to take immediate action to tackle the deficit in a fair and responsible way, ensure that taxpayers' money is spent responsibly, and get the public finances back on track.

Key promises

To ensure the main burden of deficit reduction is borne by reduced spending rather than increased taxes.

To protect jobs by stopping the proposed jobs tax.

To make cuts of £6 billion to non-front-line services within the financial year 2010/11.

To reduce spending on the Child Trust Fund and tax credits for higher earners.

Pensions and older people

The Government wants to safeguard key benefits and pensions, and make it easier for older people to work or volunteer.

Key promises

To restore the earnings link for the basic state pension from April 2011, and guarantee that pensions are raised by the higher of earnings, inflation or 2.5%.

To phase out the default retirement age and set a date at which the state pension age starts to rise to 66 (it will not be sooner than 2016 for men and 2020 for women).

To abolish the rules requiring compulsory annuitisation at 75.

To make fair and transparent payments to Equitable Life policy holders, through an independent payment scheme, for their relative loss as a consequence of regulatory failure.

To explore the potential to give people greater flexibility in accessing part of their personal pension fund early.

To protect key benefits for older people such as the winter fuel allowance, free TV licences, free bus travel, and free eye tests and prescriptions.

To simplify the rules and regulations relating to pensions.


The Government wants to reform the tax system to make it more competitive, simpler, greener and fairer.

Key promises

To increase the personal allowance for income tax to help lower and middle income earners.

A substantial increase in the personal allowance from April 2011, with the benefits focused on those with lower and middle incomes.

To further increase the personal allowance to £10,000, making real terms steps each year.

To prioritise this over other tax cuts, including cuts to Inheritance Tax.

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