UK leaders unveil radical policy

David Cameron and Nick Clegg have
unveiled the policy programme their coalition will follow to create the
“radical” change they say the UK needs.

Mr Cameron said the
“remarkable” document combines the best of the Lib Dem and Tory
manifestos – even though policies on both sides have been axed.

He described it as a blueprint for
a “radical, reforming government”.

But Labour said the agreement
raised more questions than it answered – and had just “papered over the
cracks”.

Prime Minister Mr Cameron shared a
platform with his deputy Mr Clegg to launch the 34-page document, which has been
put together in nine days.

It builds on the four-page deal produced
during negotiations in the immediate aftermath of the UK election which
resulted in a hung Parliament.

The document includes the
agreements on policy areas such as banking, civil liberties, defence, the environment,
Europe, immigration, welfare and political reform – some of which the parties
have disagreed on in the past.

It includes plans to sell off at
least part of Royal Mail, although it vows to keep the Post Office network in
public ownership.

On crime, it promises to slash
police bureaucracy and says people will be given “greater legal protection
to prevent crime and apprehend criminals”. A new border police force will
be part of a “refocused” Serious and Organised Crime Agency.
Anonymity in rape cases will be extended to defendants.

The sale of below cost price
alcohol will be banned and councils allowed to charge more for late pub
licences to pay for more police – although 24 hour drinking will not be
scrapped.

The new government also pledges to
freeze council tax in England for at least a year. The right to request
flexible working will also be extended to all employees.

Both Mr Cameron and Mr Clegg said
tackling Britain’s record budget deficit would be their first priority but
stressed that that did not mean they could not pursue a “radical”
reforming programme of government.

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