David Cameron puts social reform at the heart of 2016 agenda
In his New Year’s message for the nation, the Prime Minister said that he had “no New Year’s resolutions, just the resolve to continue delivering what we promised in our manifesto”.
He said Britain was “in the middle of one of the great reforming decades in our country”, describing it as a “turnaround decade”.
Mr Cameron identified lack of access to home ownership, poverty and mental health problems, social mobility and discrimination, and extremism as the four areas of social reform that the Government would be targeting.
“If we really get to grips with these problems this year, we won’t just be a richer nation, but a stronger, more unified, more secure one,” he said in an article published on ConservativeHome.
“Just consider this. Right now, there are more young black men in prison than studying at our top universities.
“That scandal brings together so many of these problems I have spoken about: poor life chances that, though they never excuse a life of crime, often find people heading down that track; poor schooling, because that holds people back; discrimination, because there is even evidence to suggest that men from ethnic minority backgrounds are more likely to get a custodial sentence than white men; and extremism, which sometimes is even incubated in state institutions, such as prisons.”
Mr Cameron also took the opportunity to hit out at those who argue loudly about the social reform agenda but fail to take action.
“There are many people who will tell you how deeply they care about these issues. They will shout into megaphones, wave banners and sign petitions. But we’re the ones who are able to make the arguments and take the difficult decisions in order to defeat these social scourges and deliver real security.
“So while others are on protest march, we remain on the long walk to a Greater Britain. We won’t get there overnight. But during 2016, we will make some of our most significant strides yet.”