Tuesday, September 01, 2015

DC writes on a Better Future for working people

Prime Minister David Cameron writes ...

"By returning the Conservatives to government with a majority, the British people gave us a clear instruction: to continue on the path of recovery.

As politics gets back into full swing this week, I can assure people there will be no let-up in the long-term economic plan that is putting our economy on a stable footing. In fact, the shocks in the global markets this summer underlined just how important that task is.

Why do people rightly value economic stability? Because that is what makes it possible to deliver the security we all yearn for. At the heart of our election manifesto was that simple goal: to give people security at every stage of their lives.

Security is formed of many things: having a decent home; knowing that you can afford childcare; getting the training you need to secure a worthwhile career; earning enough not just to get through the month, but to get on in life. The economic progress we’ve made in recent years has been essential in delivering on this agenda. We’ve taken 3.8 million people out of income tax, trained more than two million apprentices and begun the vital work of building more homes and enabling more people to buy them.

With our growing economy we can now do more. That’s why we are able to double free childcare for three and four-year-olds, roll out Help to Buy and build 200,000 discounted starter homes. These policies are built on economic success. Without the hard work of recent years we simply wouldn’t be able to afford them.

The most important source of security is a well-paid job. But those jobs cannot be guaranteed by repairing the economy alone. They take reforms, too — like capping welfare, which we’ve reduced to £20,000 a year; like boosting businesses, whose taxes we’ve cut; like boosting apprenticeships and expanding our universities, which now have no cap on the number of places they can offer. It’s working. We’ve hit record levels of employment. It’s that combination of recovery and reform that will enable us to help those who often have the least security: the lowest paid.

The national living wage will be introduced in April, giving low-paid workers a £20 a week pay rise. By the end of the decade, it will reach at least £9 an hour. Combine that with an increase in the personal allowance to £12,500 and you can see the power of the modern Conservative party’s One Nation message. We back work. We promote well-paid work. We want you to keep more of your own money. That’s why we can say: we are the true party of working people in Britain today.

But the national living wage will only work if it is properly enforced. Businesses are responsible for making that happen, and today I’m announcing how we will make sure they do. We’ve already doubled the fines for non-payment of the national minimum wage — and we will double them again for that and the national living wage.

We will significantly increase the enforcement budget, set up a new team in HMRC to take forward criminal prosecutions for those who deliberately don’t comply and, from this autumn, ensure that anyone found guilty will be considered for disqualification from being a company director for 15 years. All that will be overseen by a new labour market enforcement director. So, to unscrupulous employers who think that they can get labour on the cheap, the message is clear: underpay your staff and you will pay the price.

By making sure that working people properly benefit from the recovery, we are winning the argument for pro-business, pro-enterprise economics. That argument has to be won by every political generation. Those of us who fought socialism in the 1980s and perhaps thought that the “red in tooth and claw” variety was dead were clearly wrong.

Look at today’s Labour leadership candidates. All of them are in a race to the left, vowing to borrow, tax and spend more — all the things that failed in the last century and were rejected at the last election. Listening to some of the anti-NATO, anti-American, profoundly anti-business and anti-enterprise debates is like Groundhog Day.

Labour aren’t learning. They’re slaves to a failed dogma that has always left working people paying the price. One of their most disturbing tendencies is their obedience to left-wing union leaders — the people who are behind the Tube strikes that have wreaked chaos in the capital this summer.

We are changing the law so that strikes can go ahead for essential services only with a 50 per cent turnout and 40 per cent support. We are condemning walkouts that are not the absolute last resort.
This contrast between Labour support for disruptive strikes and our action to help people get on drives home the point: which is the true party of working people?

Labour, who support the unions of well-paid Tube drivers and even-better-paid union bosses? Or us, the Conservatives — the ones who are on the side of the student who just wants to get to college, the nurse who just wants to get to work, the shopkeeper who just wants to get some customers through her door?

Our autumn agenda is about keeping our foot to the floor on the recovery. If we do that, we can turn a low-pay, high-tax, high-welfare society into one with higher pay, lower taxes and less reliance on welfare — restoring the link between hard work and reward. That is what will help people across our country. And that is what my One Nation mission is all about."

David Cameron

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