My Government has taken action to secure economic stability and steady growth, based on its long-term objectives for monetary and fiscal policy. The goal is high and stable levels of growth and employment. My Government has sought to secure the conditions which enable it to increase investment in public services.
My Government is continually looking for ways to improve productivity, including in the public sector. The spending plans announced in July were accompanied by Public Service Agreements setting out targets for service improvement. An Act has-been passed to introduce the latest accounting methods in Whitehall.
My Government is committed to delivering a competitive and well-regulated economy. An Act has been passed which reforms the regulatory framework for the gas and electricity sectors in England and Wales. Legislation has been enacted to transform the Post Office into a plc owned by the Government. Legislation has also been passed to improve the regulation of financial services and markets, establishing the Financial Services Authority as the single statutory regulator. An Act has been passed to remove legal barriers and create a framework of trust to make it easier for commercial transactions and Government services to take place electronically.
Measures have been put forward to reduce crime. An Act has been passed to improve the protection of children from violent and sex offenders and to strengthen community sentences. Legislation has been enacted to provide new powers for the police and courts to tackle disorder connected with football matches.
My Government has continued its plans for the reform of local government. An Act has been passed to improve its accountability and innovation. An Act has been passed to give the public a new right of access to open countryside. It also improves the law on rights of way and the management of Sites of Special Scientific Interest and Areas of Outstanding National Beauty and strengthens the enforcement of wildlife law.
An Act has been passed to regulate the funding of political parties and campaign expenditure and to ensure the fair conduct of referendums. My Government is determined to improve equality of opportunity. An Act has been passed outlawing race discrimination in certain public functions and placing a duty on specified public authorities to promote race equality.
My Government has continued to co-operate with the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in the interests of all of the people in the United Kingdom. In Northern Ireland my Government has worked closely with the Irish Government to secure full implementation of the Good Friday Agreement. It has fulfilled its commitment to transfer powers to the Northern Ireland Assembly in accordance with the wishes of the people as expressed in a referendum.