IT has become very clear what some of the key issues are that affect and concern many people in this country, and I am pleased that a number of policies have been set out to address them.

Firstly, it was encouraging to hear that the government will be putting an extra £2 billion into affordable housing – raising the total budget to £9 billion – with the aim of delivering a new generation of council housing. This is in addition to pledging a further £10 billion to extend the ‘Help to Buy’ scheme – a move which will help 135,000 more people get a foot on the property ladder.

Allowing more homes to be built for social rent reflects a significant change in the government’s housing vision. Coupled with the further assistance for first-time buyers, it is a positive step towards addressing the underlying problems in the UK’s housing market.

The announced cap on energy bills will also go a long way towards helping homeowners and renters under pressure by rising energy costs.

A draft bill will be published this week and will bring an end to rip-off energy prices once and for all.

As well as a tuition fee freeze and a rise in the repayment earnings threshold, a major review of university funding and student finance is set to be undertaken.

Our universities are the envy of the world and we must work collaboratively to retain this position. An open discussion involving all affected voices on the structure of the current system is a must and should take a forward-facing look at the changing needs of students and the public and private sectors. The Prime Minister’s commitment to ensuring our young people have the best possible start in life was also reaffirmed by the announcement of a further 100 free schools to be built every year until 2022.

Addressing inequalities within the health system is also a key focus. The government will move to an opt-out organ donation system, making it easier for those in need of an emergency transplant. Around 500 people died in 2016 due to a lack of suitable organs, and the current waiting list sits at around 6,500. People from black and minority ethnic backgrounds are also currently disproportionately affected.

An independent review into the Mental Health Act will also go ahead, aiming to get to the root of rising rates of detention and examining the disproportionate numbers of black and minority ethnic people detained.

The government has long been a champion for transforming the mental health system and this is a welcome step towards addressing the long-standing injustices surrounding patient detention.