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Prime Minster David Cameron has pledged 2016 will be a "game-changer" as he outlines the government's plans for the coming year. In his New Year address, he said the UK is in the middle of "one of the greatest reforming decades" in its history and set out four key priorities: tackling the housing shortage, combating extremism, alleviating poverty, and improving social mobility.
Speaking about the EU referendum which might take place in 2016, the Tory leader said the government is determined to secure the future of Britain. "We go into the year confronting some deep social problems, ones that have blighted this country for too long," he says. "I want 2016 to be the time when we really start to conquer them, a crucial year in this great turnaround decade."
In the message, posted on the party's website ConservativeHome, Cameron added: "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. It won't be easy. These problems have been generations in the making. And many of them are tangled together."
The prime minister went on: "These are the big challenges of our age, some of the biggest our nation has ever faced and this year is a test of our mettle – whether we put up with poverty or put an end to it; ignore the glass ceiling or smash it; abandon the tenant or help make them a homeowner; appease the extremist or take apart their ideology piece by piece."
In what appears to be a dig at Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Cameron went on: "While others are on protest marchs, 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."
Meanwhile, the opposition leader has issued his new year greetings and pledged to battle austerity. Corbyn said Labour is ready to "offer a real alternative: a politics that gives people a say in the decisions that affect them, and an economy based on long-term investment, instead of self-defeating austerity". Other key political figures have also issued their new year wishes.