The British labor market has undergone major changes since the 1970s. Many jobs have disappeared from industry and agriculture at the same time as the service sector employs more and more. Today, more than four out of five residents work in various service professions.
The proportion of working women has increased steadily, but many women work part-time, much due to lack of childcare. Full-time women in 2018 earned an average of just under 9 percent less than men with the same employment rate. When it comes to part-time employees, the differences are greater: just under 18 percent.
The employment rate is relatively high, just over 76 percent in 2019. More than 78 percent of the workforce was employed in the private sector that year, while slightly over 21 percent worked in the public sector. At the same time, an increasing proportion of public service is managed by private companies, and staff are also hired through staffing companies. There are, among other things, 14 prisons run by private entrepreneurs, but these are also about things like cleaning, transport and catering.
The years 1997–2007 created over two million new jobs. Many of the jobs went to immigrants, especially from the Eastern and Central European countries that joined the EU in 2004, as they were often better educated than unemployed Britons. When the air went out of the economy in 2008, some of them went home, but far from everyone, and after a few years, labor immigration regained momentum. At the time of writing, it is unclear how the UK’s decision to leave the EU will affect people from other EU countries already working there. In September 2019, almost 2.2 million EU citizens worked in the country, which was about 23,000 fewer than at the time of the June 2016 referendum on EU membership.
In some industries, there is great concern that the exit from the UK will lead to labor shortages, in agriculture, for example, the hotel and restaurant industry, healthcare and industry. In 2019, there were 800,000 vacancies in the UK, some of which could not be added because jobseekers lacked the right skills.
- COUNTRYAAH: List of key population facts of United Kingdom, covering most basic population data, religion statistics, and language profiles.
In order to limit immigration from countries outside the EU, in 2008, a points system was introduced which means that those who have qualifications that the country needs to be allowed to move to the UK. But this group has also grown, to just over 1.3 million people in September 2019.
In recent years, unemployment has decreased, from just over 8 percent in 2008 to less than 4 percent in 2019. Youth unemployment is still higher than for other age groups, but it has fallen from just over 22 percent in 2011 to just over 11 percent in 2019. However, there is a large group of young people who neither working nor studying, but not included in these statistics.
New rules for long-term unemployed came into force in 2014. They mean that those who have been unemployed for more than two years must participate in a program, Help to work, to receive job-seeker benefits. These include “community work” (such as cooking for the elderly), visiting the employment services every day or participating in educational projects. Anyone who refuses to participate risks losing their contribution for up to three months. Other rules apply in Northern Ireland.
A study from the National Statistics Agency in 2014 showed that every tenth employee wanted to work more hours than they did. Among young people, the figure was 20 percent. It has become more common that young people are employed mainly on so-called zero contracts, where they are neither guaranteed any income nor a fixed number of hours. In 2019, around 896,000 people were estimated to be employed on zero contracts, compared with 168,000 in 2010. There are slightly more women than men who have such contracts.
Some analysts have pointed out that one reason for the reduction in unemployment is that more people have started their own businesses than before (just over 15 per cent of all employed persons are self-employed) and that a large proportion of them earn less than the official minimum wage as of April 1. 2019 was £ 8.21 for those who were 25 years old. A smaller increase was also made for younger workers.
In the 1960s and 1970s, trade unions had a strong influence, but it has declined significantly since then. An increasing number of Britons are now members of a trade union. The Trade Union Congress (TUC), founded in 1868, serves as a coordinating body for 48 different unions. In 2019, the TUC had a total of 5.5 million members, both workers and officials.
FACTS – LABOR MARKET
3.8 percent (2019)
10.6 percent (2019)
Thousands are evacuated after severe flooding
At the end of the month, several storms are causing major flooding in northern England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Thousands of people are being evacuated from their homes. Labor criticizes the government for having cut back on appropriations for floodwaters reinforcements and other measures aimed at preventing flooding. The material damage is estimated to be between £ 2 billion and £ 2.8 billion. It hasn’t rained so much in the UK since 1910.
Ready for British involvement in aviation in Syria
The House of Commons votes at the beginning of the month for the UK to receive bomb-bombing IS mounts in Syria. However, the issue has stirred controversy within the Labor Party as party leader Corbyn opposes the decision. However, he agrees to allow the party’s MPs to vote as they wish. After a ten-hour debate, 397 members voted in favor of the proposal and 223 voted no. 66 Labor members vote with the government, as do most Liberal Democrats and all DUP members. The first British air raids against a Syrian oil field are carried out early the following day. According to Cameron, IS uses the revenues from the oil to fund attacks in the West. A report from the Interior Ministry shows that the number of people arrested on suspicion of terrorism-related crimes has increased by one third from September 2014 to the same month in 2015.
Protests against savings cause the government to back down
During the autumn, the government’s plans to withdraw tax credits that went to working households with low incomes have raised strong protests, and a proposal for major cuts is halted by the upper house. In his autumn speech on the British economy 2016-2020 on 27 November, Minister of Finance Osborne backs and announces, among other things, that some of the tax credits must be retained. According to Osborne, the deficit in the state’s business will be 27 billion lower than in previous forecasts. The police, healthcare, school, aid and defense can keep their funding at the current level or get more money. The defense’s appropriations are to be increased from £ 34 billion in 2015 to £ 40 billion in 2020, plus additional appropriations for the security service. A novelty is a special tax on napkins and tampons that will go to charities working for women.
Cameron presents proposals for EU reforms
In order to facilitate a British settlement with the other EU countries, Prime Minister Cameron is announcing plans to restrict immigrants from other Member States’ access to the UK welfare system. In a letter to Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, Cameron presents his proposals for reforms of EU cooperation. These include measures aimed at making the Union more competitive, giving more power to national parliaments and finding ways to protect the rights of non-eurozone countries. At the same time, it is clear that the “ceasefire” in the EU issue that prevailed in the Conservative Party is over. Cameron’s proposal faces strong criticism from parts of his own party.
The DUP blocks decisions to allow same-sex marriage
Northern Ireland’s provincial parliament votes to approve same-sex marriage. However, the decision is blocked by the chamber’s largest party, the DUP. At the same time, opinion polls show that a change in the law is supported by the next two-thirds of Northern Ireland.
New leader of Scottish Labor
At the Scottish Labor Conference, its new party leader, Kezia Dugdale, is doing its best to mark the Scottish branch of party independence, and not to the same politics as the parent party south of the border.
Scottish Labor opposes renewal of Trident
Scottish Labor is voting with a clear majority in order for Britain’s nuclear weapons system Trident not to be renewed. Large parts of the Labor Party in England and Wales are of a different opinion.
“Paramilitary groups no longer military threat in Northern Ireland”
In Northern Ireland, the independent report on paramilitary groups presents activities (see September 2015). It shows that all major groups that were active during the conflict years still remain and are organized in military forms, but that they no longer pose a military threat. The DUP announces that the party’s ministers will re-enter the government.
The lower house approves new budget rules
Finance Minister Osborne’s proposal for strict budgetary rules, that is, the government “under normal conditions” must not waste more money than it gets into taxes, approved by the lower house, with 320 votes in favor and 258 against. The SNP, the Liberal Democrats and most Labor members are voting against, but 21 Labor members are casting their votes. At the same time, statistics show that unemployment has dropped to 5.4 percent in August 2015.
Sanctions against Britons recruiting members to IS
The UN imposes sanctions on four Britons, at the request of the United Kingdom, to fight for or recruit members to IS (Omar Hussain, Nasser Muthana, Aqsa Mahmood and and Sally-Anne Jones). They are decided on a travel ban and have their assets frozen.
Independent analysis should be done on paramilitary groups in Northern Ireland
On September 18, Northern Ireland Minister Theresa Villiers ordered an independent analysis of the activities of the paramilitary groups in Northern Ireland. It should be completed by mid-October.
Corbyn is elected new Labor leader
The Labor Party appoints Jeremy Corbyn as new party leader with just over 59 percent of the vote, for Andy Burnham with 19 percent, Yvette Cooper 17 percent and Liz Kendall just over 4 percent. The election means that the party makes a clear left turn. Above all, Corbyn has profiled itself on harsh criticism of the Conservative government’s tough austerity policy, and has, among other things, pleaded for new investments in health care and education. When Corbyn appoints his first shadow government, he says he wants one party’s different factions. However, another leftist John McDonnell gets the responsibility for the financial issues, while the domestic politics will be handled by Andy Burnham and Hilary Benn takes care of the party’s foreign policy. Yvette Cooper, Liz Kendall and several others from the former shadow government have made it clear that they do not want to be part of Corbyn’s team lineup. The new party leader also receives criticism for the fact that so few women are on heavy positions, although there are more women than men in the shadow government. With regard to the sensitive EU issue, Corbyn, who has a past in Labor’s EU-skeptical case, signals that he is currently supporting the UK to remain within the Union. At the same time, other leading representatives of the shadow cabinet express strong support for continued EU membership. Several trade unions have said it could advocate for an EU exit if the government gets through changes that impair labor law. The first opinion poll following the change of party leader indicates that Labor support has increased to 32 percent.
Northern Ireland’s prime minister is temporarily resigning in protest
Northern Ireland’s Prime Minister Peter Robinson is temporarily leaving his post. His party mate Arlene Foster takes over the post of Northern Ireland head of government. Robinson makes his decision after Sinn Fein’s president in Northern Ireland was questioned about the murder of a former IRA member Kevin McGuigan.
Record time on the throne
Queen Elizabeth now becomes the monarch who sat at the longest of the British throne, just over 63 years and seven months. The former record was held by Victoria who was British Queen 1837-1901.
Drone tree clear sign in Syria
Cameron says he gave the go-ahead for Britain to use drones to kill two British Islamists in Syria who, according to the government, planned a series of terrorist attacks. It was the first time the British Air Force had set drones for targets in a country that Britain is not at war with. This is despite the fact that in 2013 Parliament voted against a British intervention in Syria (see September 2013).
More Britons want to leave the EU
An opinion poll at the beginning of the month indicates that there are now more Britons (51 percent) who want the UK to leave the EU than they want the country to remain within the Union (49 percent).
Britain will receive 20,000 Syrian refugees by 2020
Prime Minister Cameron promises shortly thereafter that Britain will receive “thousands” of Syrian refugees, from camps in Syria’s neighboring countries. Money for this will be partly taken from the development budget, says Cameron. At the same time, he pledges £ 100 million in humanitarian aid to those living in refugee camps in Syria, Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan. Later, the government submits a proposal in the lower house that the UK should receive 20,000 people from Syria by 2020. They will be offered humanitarian visas that will allow them to stay in the country for five years. Labor’s Yvette Cooper urges the government to also assist Syrian asylum seekers who have traveled to Europe. In addition to the Czech Republic, Romania and Slovakia, the British Government
Name gathering for the UK to receive more refugees
The refugee disaster around the Mediterranean is putting new pressure on the British government to make the country more responsible for helping those fleeing. From January 2014 until the beginning of September 2015, the UK has received only 215 Syrian asylum seekers. Nicola Sturgeon promises that Scotland can take responsibility for a thousand asylum seekers. Liberal Democrats former leader Lord Ashdown calls Cameron’s actions “shameful”. A name gathering for the UK to receive more refugees has collected 425,000 names.
United Kingdom and Spain in joint EU play
At the beginning of the month, David Cameron will make a move with Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and call for new structural reforms of EU cooperation to increase the competitiveness of member states. The main purpose of the collaboration should be to create growth, they both write in a joint newspaper article.
Murder creates new crisis in Northern Ireland
A murder in Northern Ireland, for which IRA members are suspected, is creating a new political crisis in the province. At the end of August, the UUP, the second largest Protestant party, the UUP, announces that it will leave the provincial government on September 1 in protest that Sinn Fein, the political branch of the IRA, may remain in the government.
Stronger immigration laws are announced
Thousands of people’s attempts to reach Britain through the tunnel under the English Channel from Calais in France trigger an intense debate about immigration. The government says that a planned new immigration law will, among other things, compel landlords to check the residence permit of foreign tenants. Those who do not, or who do not evict tenants without a residence permit, can be sentenced to prison for up to five years. A new immigration law will be debated in Parliament this autumn. In the middle of the month, Britain and France will agree on measures to prevent refugees from accessing the UK via the Channel Tunnel. France promises, among other things, to deploy more police and the UK, for example, will build new fences and set up more surveillance cameras. A new proposal to curb immigration is presented by the government at the end of the month: immigrants working illegally in the UK risk being punished with up to six months in prison. Sanctions are also planned against companies that employ illegal labor. However, new statistics show that immigration continues to increase, despite the government’s attempts to limit it. From March 2014 to March 2015, 330,000 people had moved to the UK.
The government wants to limit the right to strike
The government is proposing a restriction on the opportunities for trade unions to call for strikes in the public sector. At least half of all members must vote in order for a strike to be legal. Today, it is enough for a simple majority of those who vote to vote.
The government announces new savings requirements
Finance Minister George Osborne presents a state budget with strong emphasis on financial tightening. In total, the government expects to save £ 37 billion over the next five years, of which SEK 12 billion through reduced social spending, SEK 5 billion through tax changes and reduced tax cuts and the remainder mainly through reduced government spending. The corporate tax rate will be gradually reduced from 20 percent to 18 percent by 2020.
Four compete for the post of Labor leader
In the middle of the month, there are four candidates for Labor leader remaining: Andy Burnham (seen as a favorite to win), Liz Kendall (who says she wants to modernize the party), Yvette Cooper and Jeremy Corbyn (from the party’s left flank).
The post office is privatized
The state sells parts of the British post office Royal Mail and thus receives £ 750 million.
Families with children are affected by the government’s savings requirements
Finance Minister Osborne says he is considering eliminating tax cuts for families with children. That means, according to estimates, that 3.7 million low-income families lose around £ 1,400 a year, but would save £ 5 billion for the state. Conservatives have previously pledged to cut social welfare costs by £ 12 billion, but said during the election campaign that nothing should be cut into state pensions, benefits for pensioners or child support. Osborne is also planning new legislation which means that the state budget must show a surplus under “normal” economic conditions. The former coalition government missed its goal of having a balanced budget until 2015/2016, but Osborne now says that the government will be able to do this by 2017/2018.
Ready for referendum on the EU
The House of Commons votes for Britain to hold a referendum on EU membership. 544 members voted yes and 53 voted against the proposal, which is supported by both the Conservative Party and Labor, but not by the SNP. The bill now moves on to the next step in parliamentary procedures. Labor has said in the days before the vote that the party intends to run its own campaign in the referendum for Britain to remain within the EU and not cooperate with any other parties. During the election campaign earlier this year, Labor objected to a referendum.
Cameron’s EU requirements get bailed out from Eastern Europe
According to media reports, the British Prime Minister is pushing to start deliberations on British requirements as soon as possible, in order to hold an early referendum. His demand to restrict EU immigrants’ access to the British welfare system is met by opposition from above all Poland and several other Eastern European countries. At the same time, several observers point out that the more hurry Cameron has, the harder he will be able to push through his demands. A new opinion poll indicates that 58 percent of Britons want to stay within the EU and 41 percent want to leave the cooperation.
Conservative EU critics create pressure group
About fifty Conservative MPs will form a group, Conservatives for the UK (CfB) in early June, saying they will fight for an exit from the EU, so-called Brexit, unless the government can withdraw power from the EU. They are calling for Parliament, Westminster, to have the right to veto all EU laws. Cameron replies that all ministers who want to participate in a campaign for the country to leave the EU must leave the government. He later takes this back and says that journalists misinterpreted what he said.
Questionnaire before EU vote
Great attention is now being paid to the planned referendum on the EU and at the end of May, Prime Minister Cameron will travel to the Netherlands, France, Poland and Germany in an attempt to win support for his plans to reform the EU. A debate arises as to how the question in the referendum should be formulated. The government’s proposal is: Do you want the UK to remain as an EU member?
“Better childcare and no tax increases”
In his government statement, the so-called Queen’s speech, the Cameroon ministry presents its plans for the coming term. According to it, income tax, VAT and social insurance should not be increased at all for five years, all three- to four-year-olds should be entitled to 30 hours of free childcare per week, a new ceiling is set for how much a household can receive in subsidies (it was reduced from £ 26,000 to £ 23,000). An important part also applies to the increased powers to be given to the parliaments of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, as well as how to proceed with “English votes for English laws”.
New crisis in Northern Ireland
At the same time, a new crisis threatens the provincial government in Northern Ireland, as nationalist parties Sinn Féin and the SDLP vote against a proposal for welfare reform. This means that the provincial government is expected to have a deficit in its budget of £ 600,000. According to media reports, it could mean that the UK government decides to hand over budget responsibility to a senior civil servant. There is a risk that the entire provincial government will fall. The governments of London and Dublin are intervening and trying to find a way to break the deadlock.
The Conservative Party wins its own majority
The British parliamentary elections on May 7 appear to be a smooth run between the two major parties, both of which are at a few and 30 percent. It is therefore a big surprise when the Conservative Party wins its own majority in the lower house. Cameron’s party gets 330 seats and just under 37 percent of the vote, followed by Labor with 232 seats and 30.5 percent and the SNP with 56 seats and just under 5 percent, the Liberal Democrats 8 seats and almost 8 percent. Ukip is allowed to settle for 1 mandate (and 12.6 percent of the vote), as well as the Green Party (just under 4 percent). Assessors had predicted that Ukip would take a mandate from the Conservative Party, but instead Ukip is advancing in the north of England where the party attracts former Labor voters. In Northern Ireland, the DUP becomes the largest party with 8 seats, Sinn Fein gets 4 seats, one less than 2010, SDLP retains its 3 seats, UUP, who went out in 2010, gets 2 seats, while the Alliance Party loses its only mandate. In Wales, Plaid Cymru is allowed to retain its three mandates. There, the Conservative Party wins 3 new seats, at the expense of the Liberal Democrats and Labor. The proportion of women in Parliament increases to just over 29 percent compared to 23 percent in 2010. After the election, Labor leader Miliband, Liberal Democrats leader Nick Clegg and Ukip’s Nigel Farage are retiring. However, the latter is back on the party leader post three days later after appeals from party members. An open conflict erupts within the party, as several party representatives oppose this. Douglas Carswell, the only Ukip member who entered the House of Commons, refuses to accept the entire state party grant of £ 650,000 to which Ukip is now entitled. He justifies it by showing that the party is different from the others,
Sturgeon in the limelight
The big televised election debate will be held on April 2. Seven parties participate, in addition to the two government parties and Labor, the SNP, the Ukip, the Green Party and the Welsh Plaid Cymru may also participate. The Northern Irish parties are critical of not being allowed to participate. Various opinion polls give different conclusions about who is considered to have won the debate. Miliband, Cameron, Farage or SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon. It appears that many outside Scotland did not know who Sturgeon is until now. Together with Nathalie Bennett from the Green Party and Plaid Cymrus Leanne Wood, she opposes the government’s tough austerity policy. After the debate, information is leaked that Sturgeon, in a conversation with France’s ambassador, should have said that she would rather the Conservative Party win and that Ed Miliband does not have what it takes to become prime minister. Understand that a Conservative electoral victory would favor the pursuit of independence in Scotland. The data is denied by both the SNP leader and the French ambassador. Shortly thereafter, Sturgeon makes an invitation to Labor, and wants the parties to make a pact to prevent the Conservative Party from retaining power. Labor leader Miliband tries to mark distance from the SNP and rejects the Scottish Party’s proposal for economic policy.
A maximum of one more term for Cameron
David Cameron says that if he can remain as prime minister after the May elections, it will be his last term in office. It is speculated that he plans to step down following a possible referendum on the EU in 2017. It also brings new life to the speculation about who will succeed him as a Conservative leader. Finance Minister George Osborne, Interior Minister Theresa May and London’s Mayor Boris Johnson are mentioned as likely successors.
Labor excludes government cooperation with SNP
Ed Miliband, after being pressured by the Conservatives, says his party is not prepared to form a coalition government with the SNP. At the same time, opinion figures show that the SNP retains its clear leadership over Labor in Scotland. One reason for Miliband to distance itself from the SNP is that any talk of cooperation could lead to the Scottish voters believing that they will get a Labor government even if they vote for the SNP. The idea of a Labor / SNP government hardly wins any votes among English voters.
Tax cuts before the election
Finance Minister Osborne presents a “pre-election budget” on March 18 which includes, among other things, gentle cuts in income tax, support for people who buy their first house. But Osborne also promises more measures to access tax evaders. According to new figures, GDP grewby 2.6 percent in 2014. Unemployment continues to decline, as does the current account deficit. The UK economy has benefited from lower oil prices. Miliband reiterates what he has said several times before, that the finance minister favors the wrong groups and Labor Finance Minister candidate Ed Balls calls the budget too thin. Balls says Osborne will have to raise VAT and cut down on public health, the NHS, to get the numbers to come together. At the same time, the Liberal Democrats criticize the coalition partner for ideological reasons for making larger cuts than the economic situation justifies.
Unionist parties in puppy pact
Ahead of the British parliamentary elections, the DUP and the other major unionist party, the UUP, have agreed on an election pact, where they will stand with joint candidates in four constituencies.
Settlement in Northern Ireland risks cracking
Sinn Fein announces that the party is withdrawing its support for the welfare savings agreement agreed by the Northern Ireland parties at the end of 2014 (see December 2014). The party claims that the DUP changed the agreement. The two parties hold several meetings to break the deadlock.
Former Foreign Ministers in corruption scandal
Two former foreign ministers, Jack Straw of Labor and Malcolm Rifkind of the Conservative Party, are suspended from their parties on suspicion that they promised to use their political influence to favor a private company. They are filmed by journalists from the Daily Telegraph magazine and the Channel 4 television channel, which claims to represent a non-existent Chinese company. Both Straw and Rifkind deny that they have violated some rules, but report themselves to the House under review. Ed Miliband calls on Prime Minister Cameron to impose a ban on MPs working with others while sitting in the lower house. There is already a code of conduct today on what one can and cannot do as a member of the British Parliament. After the disclosures, Rifkind resigns as chairman of the House of Commons intelligence committee. As a member of the lower house, they earn about £ 67,000 a year.
Creep holes for tax evasion are revealed
Documents from the British bank HSBC that have leaked to the media show how well-off people in the UK were able to avoid paying taxes in the country by using secret accounts in Switzerland. In two-thirds of the cases, however, this has been done without the parties concerned violating British law. Wealthy people with roots in other countries, so-called non-judges, have been able to exploit a loophole in the legislation that allows them to avoid paying tax in the UK for assets located outside the country if they can claim that they are closely related to another country. This has contributed to many foreign billionaires moving to London. The question of the terms of these “non-judgments” has been debated earlier, and some time in the 1990s the then Labor government tried to tighten the terms, but it ended in a rather diluted proposal. The data, which is now published, has been processed by some sixty media companies around the world. The leaked information gives new fuel to the political debate and Ed Miliband criticizes Prime Minister Cameron for his appointment of former HSBC chief Lord Green as new Minister of Commerce. Several of the Conservative Party’s, and to a lesser extent Labor’s, donors belong to those who had secret accounts in HSBC. The revelations thus hurt the Conservatives more than Labor, who receive a large portion of their money from the unions. and to a lesser extent Labor, contributors belong to those who had secret accounts in HSBC. The revelations thus hurt the Conservatives more than Labor, who receive a large part of their money from the unions. and to a lesser extent Labor, contributors belong to those who had secret accounts in HSBC. The revelations thus hurt the Conservatives more than Labor, who receive a large portion of their money from the unions.
Russian intrusion into British airspace
Russian military planes are reported to have flown across the English Channel, and British authorities are forced to redirect civilian planes.
Record note for monitoring Assange
According to the London Police, guarding Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who is at Ecuador’s embassy in the UK to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he is accused of rape, has cost £ 9 million between June 2012 and October 2014 (see also June 2012).
Prisoners without voting rights, violations of human rights
The European Court of Human Rights ruled that Britain violated human rights when not allowing sentenced prisoners to vote in various elections between 2009 and 2011. A group of over a thousand prisoners had appealed to the court to have the case examined. However, the Court decides that none of the prisoners in the group should be awarded any damages or to cover legal costs. A representative from the Justice Department says the government believes the issue should be decided in the UK. Already in 2004, the Court ruled for the first time that the United Kingdom violated Article Three of the European Convention on Human Rights; the right to free elections.
The number of anti-Semitic incidents is increasing
According to the Community Security Trust, close to 1,200 anti-Semitic incidents were reported in the UK in 2014. This is the highest figure since the surveys began in 1984. The Gaza war in the summer of 2014 is the most important factor behind the increase. Most incidents are said to be random attacks on Jewish people in public places, many of them in London and in the Manchester area.
SNP dissatisfied with proposals for new Scottish powers
The Government presents its plan for increased Scottish autonomy, which is based on the proposals submitted by the Smith Commission during the autumn of 2014 (see November 2014). The government’s proposal is criticized by the SNP for being watered down. Cameron maintains that the government has stuck to its earlier promises to give more power to the Scottish Parliament.
Chilcot’s report on the Iraq war is delayed
The commission, which, led by John Chilcot, is investigating Britain’s role in the Iraq war, announces that it will not present its report until after the May elections. It is justified by giving those who have been criticized the opportunity to respond to the criticism.