Labour kicks off first week in power with announcement blitz on planning, health and education | Politics News

The Labour government has made a swathe of announcements as it enters its first full week in power, including plans to liberalise planning laws, boost dentist appointments and recruit more teachers.

The Starmer administration is taking action on the economy, health and education today, while the prime minister continues his tour of the UK in Northern Ireland.

Over the weekend, the new government made announcements on Ukraine and illegal migration.

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Sir Keir Starmer, meanwhile, said he plans to have a closer relationship with Europe during a visit to Scotland.

After his visit to Northern Ireland, the prime minister is then set to meet with metro mayors before heading to a NATO summit in Washington DC on Tuesday.

The blitz of announcements come from a government keen to embody the “change” slogan it used to get elected.

There is little new about the contents of what is being said; rather, the cabinet is taking the steps it promised to while in opposition.

First major speech for chancellor

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Rachel Reeves will make her first big speech as chancellor. Pic: Reuters

Chancellor Rachel Reeves, for example, is set to speak with business leaders as she aims to “deliver on the government’s mandate” and declare economic growth “a national mission” in her first major speech in office.

She will also propose changes to the planning system and “announce swift changes to unblock infrastructure and private investment”.

The chancellor will say: “We face the legacy of 14 years of chaos and economic irresponsibility.

“New Treasury analysis I requested over the weekend exposed the opportunities lost from this failure.

“Had the UK economy grown at the average rate of OECD economies since 2010, it would have been over £140bn larger.

“This could have brought in an additional £58bn in tax revenues last year alone to sustain our public services.

“It falls to this new government to fix the foundations.”

Read more:
What will Labour’s first government priorities?
Who is in the new cabinet?

Fixing the ‘broken’ NHS

Wes Streeting walks outside Downing Street.
Pic: Reuters
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Wes Streeting will meet with dentists. Pic: Reuters

Meanwhile, Health Secretary Wes Streeting is set to meet with the British Dentist Association to discuss Labour‘s campaign promise to deliver 700,000 urgent appointments.

And Mr Streeting is also set to speak with junior doctors on Tuesday in an attempt to resolve the long-running industrial action.

After taking office, he declared the NHS was “broken” and his aim is to fix it.

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The health secretary said: “I will also continue to meet with officials and NHS leaders to agree plans for providing an extra 40,000 operations, scans and appointments a week as soon as possible to cut waiting lists.

“This is what we promised in opposition, so it is what we are doing in government.”

Relaunching teacher recruitment schemes

Pic: Reuters
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Bridget Phillipson is relaunching recruitment schemes for teachers. Pic: Reuters

At the same time, Education Secretary Bridget Phillipson is writing to those in the education workforce to highlight their importance to the new government.

She will also meet with stakeholders and unions this week, according to the Department for Education.

The government also plans to relaunch two recruitment campaigns for educators, Every Lesson Shapes a Life and Share Your Skills, as they aim to meet their target of hiring 6,500 more teachers.

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Ms Phillipson said: “From day one, we are delivering the change this country demands and putting education back at the forefront of national life.

“We will work urgently to recruit thousands of brilliant new teachers and reset the relationship between government and the education workforce.”

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