At every conference since the election, the question for us and for me has been: ‘is your economic plan working?’
They aren’t asking that question now. The deficit is down by a third, exports to China have doubled, and businesses have created 1.4 million new jobs. Our plan is working. Thanks to the resolve and sacrifice of the people of this country, Britain is now turning a corner.
So now families, working hard and anxious about the future, are asking these questions: can we make the recovery last, and will they feel it in their pockets?
It is to them that I offer our economic plan for hardworking people.
- We will deliver sound public finances. We say: never again. Instead of borrowing and spending in the good times, we will fix the roof when the sun is shining. That is why we have said that when we have dealt with Labour’s deficit, we will run a surplus in good times as insurance against the bad. And so that we invest for the future, we will grow capital spending at least in line with our national income. It is only if we properly fix our public finances that we will be able to keep lowering taxes for hardworking people in a way that lasts.
- We are backing aspiration. We are the party of home ownership, and our Help to Buy scheme will help people make their dream of owning their own home a reality. We are backing small businesses, we have cut tax for millions of people, frozen council tax, and cut fuel duty. And as long as we can find the savings to pay for it, I want to freeze fuel duty for the rest of this Parliament.
- Unlike previous governments, we are leaving no-one behind. We’ve capped benefits and are making sure that work always pays. And now, for the first time, long-term unemployed people will be asked to do something in exchange for their benefits to help them into work. There will be no more something for nothing.
- And we are investing in the future, with support for infrastructure like HS2, science and shale gas. The world is changing, and it is a huge challenge for our country. But if we get it right, it is the key to our prosperity. Not for us the comfort of the past. Ours is the Britain of the future.
So let everyone know: this is a serious plan for a grown-up country. It is the only route to better living standards. We are laying sound economic foundations – without which better living standards cannot be built.
We are turning Britain around. We rescued the economy together. We’re going to recover together. And together we’re going to share in the rewards.