Thatcher's Government 1979-97

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  • Thatcher's Government 1979-97
    • Deregulation
      • The Big Bang of October 1986 relaxed rules on ownership and trading operations of banks, resulting in massive growth of financial services
    • Taxation
      • In the 1980 budget, income tac was cut from 83% to 60%, and then further to 40%
      • Basic rates of income tax were cut from 33% to 25%
    • Inflation
      • In 1978, inflation was 11%. By 1980 it was 22%
      • Thatcher was willing to risk a period of high unemployment in order to tackle inflation
        • Unemployment peaked at over 3 million in 1982
      • Thatcher refused to print more money to cover inflation
      • In 1980&81 manufacturing production fell 14%
    • Privatisation
      • Under Thatcher
        • Popular Capitalism - the idea that everyone should have the opportunity to own property and shares in companies
        • Aimed to cut government spending on loss-making industries; cut number of civil servants; stimulate the economy and cut taxes
        • Worked better in some industries than others
    • Trade Unions
      • The removal of government subsidies for struggling industries saw a decline in the % of labour force in manual labour from 47% in 1974 to 36% in 1991
      • 1982 Employment Act meant unions could be sued for illegal strike action
      • 1984 Trade Union Act meant a strike had to be approved by majority of members in a secret ballot before it was legal
    • Education
      • Thatcher felt LEAs and teachers promoted child-centred learning rather than academic success
      • The 1988 Act was also allowed schools to become directly funded by central government, meaning headteachers and governors could control spending instead of LEAs
    • NHS
      • Thatcher would've preferred to abolish tax funding and enforce private health insurance, but majority of the population approved of the NHS
    • Local Government
      • Thatcher aimed to detach individuals from reliance on local government
      • 1980 Housing Act - 'Right to Buy' - enabled those who had lived in a council house for 3 or more years to buy it off the government
        • Hoped to promote a sense of pride and responsibility as well as cut government spending
        • 204,000 council houses bought 1982-3 and home ownership rose from 55% to 63% between 1979-90
      • 1985 Local Government Act enabled Thatcher to abolish the councils she found most troublesome
        • The Greater London Council and 6 other metropolitan councils were dissolved
      • Thatcher tried to widen a sense of financial responsibility through a 'community charge' - known as poll tax
        • 1989 in Scotland and 1990 in England


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