The UK Government – most officially known as Her Majesty’s Government (HM Government) – is the central governing force in Britain, and is thus classically deemed to be the single most powerful entity in the country.
While nominally in place to serve the reigning monarch, the true powers of the Crown vs Parliament are ambiguous – they’re thought to be largely ceremonial by many, but thought to be discreetly omnipotent by others. Still, ultimately, it’s generally accepted that the government’s duties are to serve the electorate that voted them into power.
With much of the power held by whichever political party currently holds the most seats in the House of Commons, this ruling faction dictates policy for the entirety of their elected term. Changes to public strategy are then implemented by different arms of the government, such as the Department for Work and Pensions (which deals mainly with benefits) and HM Revenue and Customs (which largely deals with matters in regards to taxation).
Despite their central operations in Westminster holding the majority of the power, the main issues that affect the general public day-to-day are deal with regional and local government structures – and this is largely done through local councils. It is through these branches that things such as waste management, council tax and public housing are dealt with, and this remains the most prominent way in which people interact with the government.
Much of the UK’s central governing bodies and their executive arms are based in the British capital city of London – however, certain branches are known to have their centre of operations spread across multiple locations, with the prime example being the Department for Work and Pensions holding their National Insurance, Income Tax and Benefits bases in Newcastle, Liverpool and Wolverhampton respectively.
John introduces us to the variety of government departments and benefits systems in place in the UK, and mentions some common examples of why people need to phone for help.