Published on 7 Jan 2013 Sections

Cameron and Clegg insist coalition is ‘steadfast’

David Cameron and Nick Clegg insist their parties remain “steadfast and united” as they outline new reforms to mark the midway point of the coalition government’s first term.

David Cameron and Nick Clegg insist their parties remain

The prime minister and the deputy prime minister will issue the government’s mid-term review 32 months after the coalition was formed. The review will look at the progress that has been made on coalition pledges.

At the same time the pair are set to announce new reforms which they will say will “secure our country’s future and help people realise their ambitions”.

Ahead of publication of the review, Mr Cameron and Mr Clegg said: “We are dealing with the deficit, rebuilding the economy, reforming welfare and education and supporting hard working families through tough times.

“And on all of these key aims, our parties, after 32 months of coalition, remain steadfast and united. Of course there have been some issues on which we have not seen eye to eye, and no doubt there will be more. That is the nature of coalition.

‘Shared sense of purpose’

“But on the things that matter most – the big structural reforms needed to secure our country’s long term future – our resolve and sense of shared purpose have, if anything, grown over time.

“Today, at the half-way point in the parliament, we are taking stock of the progress we have made in implementing the coalition agreement that we signed in May 2010. But we are also initiating a new set of reforms, building on those already underway, to secure our country’s future and help people realise their ambitions.”

The coalition said the new reforms will be around supporting working families with childcare costs, building of new homes, improving transport infrastructure and helping the elderly.

Among achievements that the two party leaders are expected to laud are welfare reforms, tougher school standards, council tax freezes and protecting the NHS from spending cuts.

‘Huge assault’

But the Labour party has claimed the cut in child benefit, which comes into force today, combined with a three-year benefits and tax credits squeeze, is a “huge assault” on millions of working families.

Shadow equalities minister Yvette Cooper says 4.6 million women who receive child tax credit directly will be hit by a cap on welfare increases, according to the Guardian newspaper.

David Cameron has defended the child benefit cuts, which will see families with one earner on more than £50,000 lose some or all of the payments, insisting the move is “fundamentally fair”.