Conservative – Liberal Democrat Coalition Agreement
The Conservative – Liberal Democrat Coalition Agreement (also called The Coalition: Our Programme For Government) was a policy document drawn up following the 2010 general election in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

. It formed the terms of reference governing the Cameron Ministry
Cameron Ministry
David Cameron is Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, after being invited by Queen Elizabeth II to form a new government after the resignation as Prime Minister of Gordon Brown on 11 May 2010. Leading a coalition government formed by the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats, the coalition...

, the newly formed coalition government
Coalition government
A coalition government is a cabinet of a parliamentary government in which several political parties cooperate. The usual reason given for this arrangement is that no party on its own can achieve a majority in the parliament...

 comprising MPs from the Conservative Party
Conservative Party (UK)
The Conservative Party, formally the Conservative and Unionist Party, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom that adheres to the philosophies of conservatism and British unionism. It is the largest political party in the UK, and is currently the largest single party in the House...

 and the Liberal Democrats
Liberal Democrats
The Liberal Democrats are a social liberal political party in the United Kingdom which supports constitutional and electoral reform, progressive taxation, wealth taxation, human rights laws, cultural liberalism, banking reform and civil liberties .The party was formed in 1988 by a merger of the...


The general election resulted in a hung parliament
Hung parliament
In a two-party parliamentary system of government, a hung parliament occurs when neither major political party has an absolute majority of seats in the parliament . It is also less commonly known as a balanced parliament or a legislature under no overall control...

, with no party emerging with an overall majority in the House of Commons, for the first time since 1974. As a result, the first and third parties in terms of votes and seats, the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats respectively, entered into negotiations with the aim of forming a full coalition, the first since the Second World War.

An initial agreement
Coalition agreement
In multiparty democracies, a coalition agreement is an agreement between the parties that form the cabinet. It codifies the most important goals and objectives of the cabinet. It is often written by the leaders of the parliamentary parties.-Examples:...

 was published on 12 May 2010 (dated 11 May), detailing what had been agreed in the various policy areas, in order for a coalition government to be able to be formed, with a final agreement published 20 May.

Initial agreement

The initial agreement was published on 12 May 2010. It consisted of a 7 page document, in 11 sections. In the foreword, it stated "These are the issues that needed to be resolved between us in order for us to work together as a strong and stable government". The 11 sections were as follows:
  1. Deficit Reduction
  2. Spending Review - NHS, Schools and a Fairer Society
  3. Tax Measures
  4. Banking Reform
  5. Immigration
  6. Political Reform
  7. Pensions and Welfare
  8. Education
  9. Relationship with the EU
  10. Civil liberties
  11. Environment


In order to tackle the budget deficit and national debt, the agreement detailed "significantly accelerated reduction in the structural deficit" over the Parliament, with £6 billion cuts to be made in the financial year 2010-11, with plans to be published in an emergency budget
June 2010 United Kingdom Budget
The June 2010 United Kingdom Budget, officially known as 2010 Budget - Responsibility, freedom, fairness: a five year plan to re-build the economy, was delivered by George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer, to the House of Commons in his budget speech that commenced at about 12.30 p.m on Tuesday...

 within 50 days.


In spending, the agreement committed the government to a full Spending Review of government including a full Strategic Security and Defence Review
Defence Review
A Defence Review is the process by which government of the United Kingdom decides upon its overall defence policy and upon the means and resources devoted to achieving its defence objectives. Such reviews can happen when political or economic factors dictate, such as upon a change of Government...

 to be completed by the Autumn, an increase in National Health Service
National Health Service
The National Health Service is the shared name of three of the four publicly funded healthcare systems in the United Kingdom. They provide a comprehensive range of health services, the vast majority of which are free at the point of use to residents of the United Kingdom...

 funding in real terms and funding of disadvantaged pupils from outside the normal education budget. It would also establish an independent commission to review the long term affordability of public sector pensions, and restore the earnings link for the basic state pension from April 2011. Britain's independent nuclear deterrent
Nuclear weapons and the United Kingdom
The United Kingdom was the third country to test an independently developed nuclear weapon, in October 1952. It is one of the five "Nuclear Weapons States" under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which the UK ratified in 1968...

 would be maintained, but the proposed replacement of the Trident system
British replacement of the Trident system
The British replacement of Trident is a proposal to replace the existing Vanguard class of four Trident ballistic-missile armed submarines with a new class designed to continue a nuclear deterrent after the current boats reach the end of their service lives...

 would be reviewed for value for money.


In taxation
Taxation in the United Kingdom
Taxation in the United Kingdom may involve payments to a minimum of two different levels of government: The central government and local government. Central government revenues come primarily from income tax, National Insurance contributions, value added tax, corporation tax and fuel duty...

, the agreement committed to increasing the personal income tax allowance to £10,000 by 2015 to take many of those on the lowest salaries out of the tax system. The de-prioritising Inheritance Tax
Inheritance Tax (United Kingdom)
In the United Kingdom, Inheritance Tax is a transfer tax. It was introduced with effect from 18 March 1986 replacing Capital Transfer Tax.-History:...

 cuts, and also laid out measures and arrangements on the issues of marriage, aviation, non-business capital gains taxes, and tax avoidance. The planned 1% rise in National Insurance
National Insurance
National Insurance in the United Kingdom was initially a contributory system of insurance against illness and unemployment, and later also provided retirement pensions and other benefits...

 will be partially scrapped.


In the banking system
Banking in the United Kingdom
Banking in the United Kingdom can be considered to have started in the Kingdom of England in the 17th century. The first activity in what later came to be known as banking was by goldsmiths who, after the dissolution of English monasteries by Henry VIII, began to accumulate significant stocks of...

, the agreement announced various reforms to "avoid a repeat of Labour's financial crisis" and stimulate the flow of credit, including the introduction of a banking levy, and controlling unacceptable bankers' bonuses
Bankers' bonuses
Bankers' bonuses are traditionally paid or awarded to some workers in the finance industry at the end of the bank's financial year. They are intended to reward employee behavior during that year that has increased the profits of the bank or some relevant part of its business , as shown by the annual...

 and regulatory reform.


The section regarding Immigration
Immigration to the United Kingdom since 1922
Immigration to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland since 1922 has been substantial, in particular from Ireland and the former colonies and other territories of the British Empire - such as India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, the Caribbean, South Africa, Kenya and Hong Kong - under...

, markedly shorter than all others, merely stated in one paragraph that there would be an annual cap on the number of non-EU workers admitted to live and work, with the mechanism decided later. Child detention for immigration purposes would also end.

Political reform

As part of reform of the political system, the parties agreed to creating fixed-term parliaments
Fixed-term election
A Fixed-term election is an election that occurs on a set date, and cannot be changed by the incumbent politician.Fixed-term elections are common for most mayors and for directly elected governors and presidents, but less common for prime ministers and parliaments in a parliamentary system of...

. An early motion would set the date of the next United Kingdom general election
Next United Kingdom general election
The United Kingdom general election of 2010 was held on Thursday 6 May 2010 to elect members to the House of Commons. The election took place in 650 constituencies across the United Kingdom under the first-past-the-post system. None of the parties achieved the 326 seats needed for an overall majority...

 as the first Thursday of May 2015, with later legislation establishing five year fixed terms and introducing a new minimum of 55% of MPs supporting a motion before Parliament could be dissolved outside this timetable.

Both parties would ensure their MPs voted for
Whip (politics)
A whip is an official in a political party whose primary purpose is to ensure party discipline in a legislature. Whips are a party's "enforcers", who typically offer inducements and threaten punishments for party members to ensure that they vote according to the official party policy...

 the introduction of a Referendum Bill
Referendums in the United Kingdom
Referendums are only occasionally held by the government of the United Kingdom. Eleven referendums have been held so far , the first in 1973; only two of these covered the whole UK...

 on the question of whether
United Kingdom alternative vote referendum
The United Kingdom alternative vote referendum, as part of the Conservative – Liberal Democrat Coalition Agreement drawn up after the 2010 general election, was a nationwide vote held on Thursday 5 May 2011 to choose the method of electing MPs at subsequent general elections...

 the electoral system for electing MPs to the House of Commons should change from first-past-the-post
First-past-the-post voting refers to an election won by the candidate with the most votes. The winning potato candidate does not necessarily receive an absolute majority of all votes cast.-Overview:...

 to Alternative Vote, and whether MPs constituencies should be changed in size or number.

On the issue of devolution
Devolution is the statutory granting of powers from the central government of a sovereign state to government at a subnational level, such as a regional, local, or state level. Devolution can be mainly financial, e.g. giving areas a budget which was formerly administered by central government...

, the parties agreed to establish a committee on the West Lothian question
West Lothian question
The West Lothian question refers to issues concerning the ability of Members of Parliament from constituencies in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales to vote on matters that only affect people living in England...

 (Scottish MPs in Westminster voting on English issue), implement the Commission on Scottish Devolution
Commission on Scottish Devolution
The Commission on Scottish Devolution, also referred to as the Calman Commission, Scottish Parliament Commission or Review was established by an opposition Labour Party motion passed by the Scottish Parliament on 6 December 2007, with the support of the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats...

 proposals, and offer a referendum on further devolution for Wales
Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain, bordered by England to its east and the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea to its west. It has a population of three million, and a total area of 20,779 km²...


Other political reform measures included introducing the power to recall MPs, bringing forward the Wright Committee
Wright Committee
The Reform of the House of Commons Committee was a Select Committee of the UK Parliament. It was established in 2009 to improve the procedures and relevance of Parliament...

 proposals for Commons reform, and introducing proposals for reform of the House of Lords
House of Lords
The House of Lords is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Like the House of Commons, it meets in the Palace of Westminster....

 by December 2010, review local government and voter registration.

Pensions and welfare

In pensions, compulsory retirement at 75 would be abolished, although the earliest age for the state pension would be increased from 65 to 66, from a date no earlier than 2016 for men, 2020 for women. Changes would be made to the Jobseeker's Allowance
Jobseeker's Allowance
Jobseeker's Allowance is a United Kingdom benefit, colloquially known as the dole . It is a form of unemployment benefit paid by the government to people who are unemployed and seeking work. It is part of the social security benefits system and is intended to cover living expenses while the...

 and welfare to work systems, including a rule that receipt of benefits would be conditional on willingness to work. Payments would be made to Equitable Life policy holders.


A 'significant' funding premium for children from poorer backgrounds will be established, incentivising schools to take them in and giving them more resources to devote to them. In schools
Education in the United Kingdom
Education in the United Kingdom is a devolved matter with each of the countries of the United Kingdom having separate systems under separate governments: the UK Government is responsible for England, and the Scottish Government, the Welsh Government and the Northern Ireland Executive are...

, new providers
Free school (England)
A Free school is a school in England funded by the taxpayer, non-selective and free to attend but not controlled by local authorities. The concept of free schools is based upon a similar model found in Sweden as well as US charter schools....

 would be allowed to enter the state schooling system where demanded, schools would be granted greater freedom over the National Curriculum, and schools would be "held properly accountable." The parties would await Lord Browne's
John Browne, Baron Browne of Madingley
Edmund John Philip Browne, Baron Browne of Madingley, FRS FREng is President of the Royal Academy of Engineering and was group Chief Executive of BP until his resignation on 1 May 2007...

Browne Review
The Browne Review or Independent Review of Higher Education Funding and Student Finance was a review to consider the future direction of higher education funding in England. It was launched on the 9 November 2009 and published its findings on 12 October 2010. It was chaired by Lord Browne of...

 for higher education with the agreement stating the Liberal Democrats may abstain if they do not like proposed changes (i.e. if there was to be an increase in tuition fees).

European Union

As part of the agreement the parties ruled out joining the euro
The euro is the official currency of the eurozone: 17 of the 27 member states of the European Union. It is also the currency used by the Institutions of the European Union. The eurozone consists of Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg,...

 while the coalition was in force. The parties agreed Britain would be a "positive participant" in the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

, although there would be "no further transfer of sovereignty or powers over the course of the next Parliament", ensured by amendment of the 1972 European Communities Act
European Communities Act 1972 (UK)
The European Communities Act 1972 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom providing for the incorporation of European Community law into the domestic law of the United Kingdom. It is not to be confused with the Irish law of the same name, Act No...

 requiring referendums on future treaties, and requiring primary legislation
Primary legislation
Primary legislation is law made by the legislative branch of government. This contrasts with secondary legislation, which is usually made by the executive branch...

 before any Passerelle Clause
Passerelle Clause
The Passerelle Clause is a clause within treaties of the European Union that allows the European Council to unanimously decide to replace unanimous voting in the Council of Ministers with qualified majority voting in specified areas with the previous consent of the European Parliament, and move...

 could be enacted, and through examination of a possible United Kingdom Sovereignty Bill. Other measures include non-participation in establishment of a European Public Prosecutor
European Public Prosecutor
The European Public Prosecutor is a proposed post in the European Union that can be established under the Treaties as amended by the Treaty of Lisbon.-Treaty:...

, limiting the Working Time Directive
Working Time Directive
The Working Time Directive is a European Union Directive, which creates the right for EU workers to a minimum number of holidays each year, paid breaks, and rest of at least 11 hours in any 24 hours; restricts excessive night work; and makes a default right to work no more than 48 hours per week....

, deciding the stance on the forthcoming EU budget, and pressuring the European Parliament
European Parliament
The European Parliament is the directly elected parliamentary institution of the European Union . Together with the Council of the European Union and the Commission, it exercises the legislative function of the EU and it has been described as one of the most powerful legislatures in the world...

 to abolish its seat
Seat of the European Parliament in Strasbourg
The city of Strasbourg is the official seat of the European Parliament. The institution is legally bound to meet there twelve sessions a year lasting about four days each. Other work takes place in Brussels and Luxembourg City...

 in Strasbourg
Strasbourg is the capital and principal city of the Alsace region in eastern France and is the official seat of the European Parliament. Located close to the border with Germany, it is the capital of the Bas-Rhin département. The city and the region of Alsace are historically German-speaking,...

 and maintain only a single seat
Espace Léopold
The Espace Léopold or is the complex of parliament buildings in Brussels housing the European Parliament, a legislative chamber of the European Union ....

 in Brussels
Brussels , officially the Brussels Region or Brussels-Capital Region , is the capital of Belgium and the de facto capital of the European Union...


Civil liberties

Agreement on civil liberties
Civil liberties in the United Kingdom
Civil liberties in the United Kingdom have a long and formative history. This is usually considered to have begun with the English legal charter the Magna Carta of 1215, following its predecessor the English Charter of Liberties, a landmark document in English legal history...

 included measures to "reverse the substantial erosion of civil liberties under the Labour Government and roll back state intrusion." This included the scrapping of the National Identity Card and register, the next generation biometric passport and the ContactPoint database. The Scottish model of implementation of the United Kingdom National DNA Database was to be extended to the whole of the United Kingdom. The Freedom of Information Act
Freedom of Information Act 2000
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 is an Act of Parliament of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that creates a public "right of access" to information held by public authorities. It is the implementation of freedom of information legislation in the United Kingdom on a national level...

 would be extended, and a Freedom (Great Repeal) Bill is to be introduced. Other reviews, reinforcements and repeals would take place in the fields of the right to trial by jury
Jury trial
A jury trial is a legal proceeding in which a jury either makes a decision or makes findings of fact which are then applied by a judge...

, the right to non-violent protest
Demonstration (people)
A demonstration or street protest is action by a mass group or collection of groups of people in favor of a political or other cause; it normally consists of walking in a mass march formation and either beginning with or meeting at a designated endpoint, or rally, to hear speakers.Actions such as...

, libel laws
English defamation law
Modern libel and slander laws, as implemented in many Commonwealth nations as well as in the United States and in the Republic of Ireland, are originally descended from English defamation law...

 and freedom of speech
Freedom of speech
Freedom of speech is the freedom to speak freely without censorship. The term freedom of expression is sometimes used synonymously, but includes any act of seeking, receiving and imparting information or ideas, regardless of the medium used...

, anti-terrorism legislation
Anti-terrorism legislation
Anti-terrorism legislation designs various types of laws passed in the aim of fighting terrorism. They usually, if not always, follow specific bombings or assassinations...

, regulation of CCTV, storage of internet and email records, and creation of new criminal offences
Criminal law
Criminal law, is the body of law that relates to crime. It might be defined as the body of rules that defines conduct that is not allowed because it is held to threaten, harm or endanger the safety and welfare of people, and that sets out the punishment to be imposed on people who do not obey...

. Fingerprinting of children at school without parental permission was to be outlawed.


In pursuit of the parties' policies on creation of a "a low carbon and eco-friendly economy", a range of measures would be adopted.

In transport
Transport in the United Kingdom
Transport in the United Kingdom is facilitated with road, air, rail, and water networks. A radial road network totals of main roads, of motorways and of paved roads. The National Rail network of 10,072 route miles in Great Britain and 189 route miles in Northern Ireland carries over 18,000...

, a high speed rail network
High-speed rail in the United Kingdom
The international definition of high-speed rail embraces new lines with a top speed of at least and existing lines with a top speed of around...

 would be established, while the proposed third runway
Expansion of London Heathrow Airport
The expansion of London Heathrow Airport involved the proposal by BAA Limited to build a third runway and a sixth terminal at Heathrow. The plan was supported by businesses, the aviation industry, the British Chambers of Commerce, the Confederation of British Industry, the Trades Union Congress and...

 at London Heathrow Airport
London Heathrow Airport
London Heathrow Airport or Heathrow , in the London Borough of Hillingdon, is the busiest airport in the United Kingdom and the third busiest airport in the world in terms of total passenger traffic, handling more international passengers than any other airport around the globe...

 would be cancelled, and no new runways would be approved for London Gatwick Airport
London Gatwick Airport
Gatwick Airport is located 3.1 miles north of the centre of Crawley, West Sussex, and south of Central London. Previously known as London Gatwick,In 2010, the name changed from London Gatwick Airport to Gatwick Airport...

 or London Stansted Airport
London Stansted Airport
-Cargo:-Statistics:-Infrastructure:-Terminal and satellite buildings:Stansted is the newest passenger airport of all the main London airports. The terminal is an oblong glass building, and is separated in to three areas: Check-in concourse, arrivals and departures...


The legislation required for the building new nuclear power stations
Nuclear power in the United Kingdom
Nuclear power currently generates around a sixth of the United Kingdom's electricity. As of 2011, the United Kingdom operates 19 nuclear reactors at nine locations...

 would proceed, without public subsidy for the projects. Any new coal-fired power station
Coal-fired power station
A coal-fired power station produces electricity, usually for public consumption, by burning coal to boil water, producing steam which drives a steam turbine which turns an electrical generator...

s would be required to implement carbon capture and storage
Carbon capture and storage
Carbon capture and storage , alternatively referred to as carbon capture and sequestration, is a technology to prevent large quantities of from being released into the atmosphere from the use of fossil fuel in power generation and other industries. It is often regarded as a means of mitigating...

, while the targets for energy from renewable sources would be increased, subject to the advice of the Climate Change Committee.

Other measures include a smart grid, smart meters
Smart meter
A smart meter is usually an electrical meter that records consumption of electric energy in intervals of an hour or less and communicates that information at least daily back to the utility for monitoring and billing purposes. Smart meters enable two-way communication between the meter and the...

 and feed-in tariff
Feed-in Tariff
A feed-in tariff is a policy mechanism designed to accelerate investment in renewable energy technologies. It achieves this by offering long-term contracts to renewable energy producers, typically based on the cost of generation of each technology...

s, a green investment bank would be created, and promotion of anaerobic digestion
Anaerobic digestion
Anaerobic digestion is a series of processes in which microorganisms break down biodegradable material in the absence of oxygen. It is used for industrial or domestic purposes to manage waste and/or to release energy....

 of waste for energy, marine energy
Marine energy
Marine energy or marine power refers to the energy carried by ocean waves, tides, salinity, and ocean temperature differences. The movement of water in the world’s oceans creates a vast store of kinetic energy, or energy in motion...

, home energy improvement, green spaces and wildlife corridors, and electric car recharging networks. Home Information Pack
Home information pack
Under Part 5 of the Housing Act 2004 a Home Information Pack , sometimes called a Seller's Pack, was to be provided before a property in England and Wales could be put on the open market for sale with vacant possession. There is separate legislation for Scotland that requires anyone selling a...

s would be abolished, albeit retaining the energy performance certificates. Import or export of illegal timber would be criminalised.

Final agreement

The initial agreement published on 12 May 2010 stated that it would be followed "in due course by a final Coalition Agreement, covering the full range of policy and including foreign, defence and domestic policy issues" which were not covered in the initial agreement. David Cameron
David Cameron
David William Donald Cameron is the current Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service and Leader of the Conservative Party. Cameron represents Witney as its Member of Parliament ....

, Nick Clegg
Nick Clegg
Nicholas William Peter "Nick" Clegg is a British Liberal Democrat politician who is currently the Deputy Prime Minister, Lord President of the Council and Minister for Constitutional and Political Reform in the coalition government of which David Cameron is the Prime Minister...

, George Osborne
George Osborne
George Gideon Oliver Osborne, MP is a British Conservative politician. He is the Chancellor of the Exchequer of the United Kingdom, a role to which he was appointed in May 2010, and has been the Member of Parliament for Tatton since 2001.Osborne is part of the old Anglo-Irish aristocracy, known in...

, Theresa May
Theresa May
Theresa Mary May is a British Conservative politician who is Home Secretary in the Conservative – Liberal Democrat Coalition government. She was elected to Parliament in 1997 as the Member of Parliament for Maidenhead, and served as the Chairman of the Conservative Party, 2003–04...

 and Vince Cable held a press conference at HM Treasury
HM Treasury
HM Treasury, in full Her Majesty's Treasury, informally The Treasury, is the United Kingdom government department responsible for developing and executing the British government's public finance policy and economic policy...

 to unveil the final Coalition Agreement. The final agreement is based around three core-values shared by both parties "Freedom, fairness and responsibility".

See also

  • Local Government Act 2010
    Local Government Act 2010
    -External links:* – official page on UK Parliament website...

  • Postal Services Act 2011
  • Savings Accounts and Health in Pregnancy Grant Act 2010
    Savings Accounts and Health in Pregnancy Grant Act 2010
    The Savings Accounts and Health in Pregnancy Grant Act 2010 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It ends government support of Child Trust Funds, the Saving Gateway and the Health in Pregnancy Grant....

  • Superannuation Act 2010
    Superannuation Act 2010
    The Superannuation Act 2010 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It caps the redundancy payouts to civil servants at 15 months' salary. Initially the proposal was for a maximum of 12 months' salary...

  • United Kingdom coalition government 2010 to present

External links

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