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Study Notes

Tony Blair: Policies of the Blair Premiership

AQA, Edexcel

Last updated 29 Oct 2018

Some of the most significant policies of the government under the leadership of Tony Blair are outlined below:

High profile policies during the Blair premiership include:

  • Making the Bank of England independent (therefore allowing it set interest rates without political interference).
  • Devolution to Scotland and Wales
  • The Good Friday Agreement was reached, beginning a peace process in Northern Ireland (and securing devolution to Northern Ireland).
  • Introduced the national minimum wage
  • Lords reform: removing most of the hereditary peers from the chamber
  • Freedom of Information Act
  • Controversial public sector reforms (including foundation hospitals and academies)
  • Introducing tuition fees and later trebling them to £3000 a year.
  • A range of controversial anti-terror proposals

This was a radical, reforming government, particularly in the arena of constitutional change (e.g. devolution, freedom of information, Lords Reform, etc.)

It certainly had more ideas in the earlier period whereas, later on, it was often reacting to events (such as the increased threat from international terrorism).

While the constitutional reform enjoyed support across the Labour Party and some of it in other parties too, Blair’s plans to reform public services were much more controversial with his own supporters, leading to large backbench rebellions.

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