Warning: this is a long post. The coalition agreement includes 6 new commissions and 28 “reviews”.
There are various breeds: urgent reviews, comprehensive reviews, long term reviews, fundamental reviews and reviews on implementing reviews. All of them are listed below:
– BANKING: We will take steps to reduce systemic risk in the banking system and will establish an independent commission to investigate the complex issue of separating retail and investment banking in a sustainable way; while recognising that this will take time to get right, the commission will be given an initial time frame of one year to report.
– BILL OF RIGHTS: We will establish a Commission to investigate the creation of a British Bill of Rights that incorporates and builds on all our obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights, ensures that these rights continue to be enshrined in British law, and protects and extends British liberties. We will seek to promote a better understanding of the true scope of these obligations and liberties.
– PUBLIC SECTOR PENSIONS We will commit to establishing an independent commission to review the longterm affordability of public sector pensions, while protecting accrued rights.
– SCOTLAND We will establish a commission to consider the ‘West Lothian question’. (Otherwise known as The Commission with No End.)
– WALES Depending on the outcome of the forthcoming referendum, we will establish a process similar to the Calman Commission for the Welsh Assembly
– SOCIAL CARE We will establish a commission on long-term care, to report within a year. The commission will consider a range of ideas, including both a voluntary insurance scheme to protect the assets of those who go into residential care, and a partnership scheme as proposed by Derek Wanless.
BUSINESS TAX We will review IR 35, as part of a wholesale review of all small business taxation, and seek to replace it with simpler measures that prevent tax avoidance but do not place undue administrative burdens or uncertainty on the self-employed, or restrict labour market flexibility.
WORKPLACE LAWS We will review employment and workplace laws, for employers and employees, to ensure they maximise flexibility for both parties while protecting fairness and providing the competitive environment required for enterprise to thrive.
R&D CREDITS We will consider the implementation of the Dyson Review to make the UK the leading hi-tech exporter in Europe, and refocus the research and development tax credit on hi-tech companies, small firms and start-ups.
TAKEOVERS We will review the range of factors that can be considered by regulators when takeovers are proposed.
LIBEL LAWS We will review libel laws to protect freedom of speech. (Don’t you feel sorry for Carter Ruck?)
LOCAL GOVERNMENT FINANCE We will promote the radical devolution of power and greater financial autonomy to local government and community groups. This will include a review of local government finance.
HOUSING We will phase out the ring-fencing of grants to local government and review the unfair Housing Revenue Account.
STAMP DUTY We will review the effectiveness of the raising of the stamp duty threshold for first-time buyers. (Cameron waters down his tax cut pledge)
POLICE We will have a full review of the terms and conditions for police officer employment. (Ouch. Over time bans, pay cut, pensions?)
ALCOHOL We will review alcohol taxation and pricing to ensure it tackles binge drinking without unfairly penalising responsible drinkers, pubs and important local industries.
EXTRADITION We will review the operation of the Extradition Act – and the US/UK extradition treaty – to make sure it is even-handed.
FAIR PAY We will undertake a fair pay review in the public sector to implement our proposed ‘20 times’ pay multiple.
ARMED FORCES PAY We will double the operational allowance for Armed Forces personnel serving in Afghanistan, and include Armed Forces pay in our plans for a fair pay review. (Generals — watch your wallets.)
ENERGY We will reform energy markets to deliver security of supply and investment in low carbon energy, and ensure fair competition including a review of the role of Ofgem.
NATIONAL PARKS We will review the governance arrangements of National Parks in order to increase local accountability.
CRIMINAL RECORDS We will review the criminal records and vetting and barring regime and scale it back to common sense levels.
FAMILY LAW We will conduct a comprehensive review of family law in order to increase the use of mediation when couples do break up, and to look at how best to provide greater access rights to non-resident parents and grandparents.
VULTURE FUNDS We will review what action can be taken against ‘vulture funds’.
SENTENCING We will conduct a full review of sentencing policy to ensure that it is effective in deterring crime, protecting the public, punishing offenders and cutting reoffending. In particular, we will ensure that sentencing for drug use helps offenders come off drugs.
LEGAL AID We will carry out a fundamental review of Legal Aid to make it work more efficiently.
DEFENCE We have commenced a Strategic Defence and Security Review, commissioned and overseen by the National Security Council, with strong Treasury involvement. We will also develop and publish a new National Security Strategy.
CONTROL ORDERS We will urgently review Control Orders, as part of a wider review of counter-terrorist legislation, measures and programmes. We will seek to find a practical way to allow the use of intercept evidence in court.
PENSIONS We will commit to establishing an independent commission to review the longterm affordability of public sector pensions, while protecting accrued rights.
PENSION AGE We will phase out the default retirement age and hold a review to set the date at which the state pension age starts to rise to 66, although it will not be sooner than 2016 for men and 2020 for women. We will end the rules requiring compulsory annuitisation at 75.
SCOTLAND We will review the control and use of accumulated and future revenues from the Fossil Fuel Levy in Scotland.
SCHOOL TESTS We will keep external assessment, but will review how Key Stage 2 tests operate in future.
NON DOMS We will review the taxation of non-domiciled individuals. (Tory plan was to charge £25,000 a year.)
PART-TIME STUDENTS We will review support for part-time students in terms of loans and fees.