Genuine progress being made despite difficulties faced by all

January is always a good time to look back over the past year. For many of us, 2012 will always be remembered as being remarkable for both the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, and also the most spectacular Olympic and Paralympics events.

But more generally, the Government can also talk positively about its achievements. We have stayed true to our pledge, to act in the public’s interest – taking the tough, long-term decisions, no matter the shot-term fall-out for us.

Real results are being seen.

The deficit has been cut by a quarter in two years. One million new jobs have been created in the private sector over those two years, even though the civil service is at its smallest since the Second World War.

There are more than 1,000 new academies open now, than at this time last year.

The Government is backing those who work hard. The increase in the Personal Allowance, which will take place at the beginning of April, is going to give 24 million hard-working people an income tax cut.

Benefits are being reformed so people will always be better off in work, and we are seeing the first substantial falls in immigration for years. On top of this, the Government has frozen council tax for the third year in a row and has helped motorist by holding down the petrol tax.

The Government has continued to protect the NHS budget and has helped thousands more patients’ access to life-saving cancer treatment thanks to their Cancer Drugs Fund.

Of course there are real difficulties facing so many people, but it’s worth recalling the genuine progress that is being made.