David Cameron manifesto speech in full
At the heart of this manifesto is a simple proposition.
We are the party of working people, offering you security at every stage of your life.
If you’re a young person looking for training.
If you’re looking for a good job.
If you want to buy your own home.
If you’re raising a family and need help with childcare. Or a great school place for your child.
If you fall ill, and need to rely on our NHS.
If you are reaching retirement, and want real security…
…we are there for you – offering security at every stage of your life…
…yes, the Conservative Party – the real party of working people in our country today.
The truth is this.
We are on the brink of something special in our country.
These past five years have been a critical period.
We have drawn on all the resources of our nation to turn a great recession into a great recovery.
Together, with the hard work of the British people, we have rescued our economy, created record numbers of jobs, put Britain back on her feet.
We have put our country on solid ground, laid solid foundations.
But let me tell you: the next five years are much, much more important.
The next five years are about building on those foundations.
The next five years are about turning the good news in our economy into a good life for you and your family.
Realising the potential of Britain…
…not as a debt-addicted, welfare-burdened, steadily-declining, once-great nation – which is what we found…
…but a country where a good life is there for everyone willing to work for it…
…a good job, a good home, a good start for your children, a good and secure retirement.
Britain has lived its long life as an exemplary country…
…the small island with a massive impact…
…the bright light in the North Sea that has exceeded expectations decade after decade, century after century.
And we are on the brink of being that country once again.
We can be the country that not only lives within its means and pays its way…
…but that offers a good life to those who work hard and do the right thing.
The country that doesn’t just lead in what we invent and create and sell…
…but how we care for the elderly and look after the sick.
In Britain we’ve always shown we have the ingredients, the will – above all the people – to overturn what’s inevitable…
…and with a strengthening economy behind us – this buccaneering, world-beating, can-do country – we can do it all over again.
That’s what I mean by being on the brink of something special.
This is a great country and we can be greater still.
So let’s not waste the past five years.
Let’s not let Labour drag us back to square one – let us finish what we have begun.
This manifesto is about how we build that brighter future.
And it starts with strong leadership.
Doing what’s right – and sticking to it.
I see that around my Cabinet table.
When the Great Recession had this country in a stranglehold…
…when people were talking about a double dip – a triple dip – saying we had to change course…
…George Osborne said: No. We hold firm and stick to the plan.
When lobby groups and interest groups were ranged against her…saying you can’t deport this extremist, or change that law…
…Theresa May said: No. We will hold firm and do whatever it takes to keep Britain safe.
When he was attacked from all sides for his welfare reforms…
…Iain Duncan Smith said: No. We hold firm and stick to the plan because this is about giving people dignity and hope and getting Britain back to work.
That’s what we offer: strong leadership, not weakness…
…competence, not chaos – and that’s what Britain needs today.
To me, as a leader, one word matters above any other: security.
As Prime Minister I have worked with our allies to go after ISIL in Iraq.
I have helped lead the global sanctions to punish Putin for his belligerence and Iran for their nuclear ambitions.
And we have not only repaired the £38 billion black hole we inherited in our defence budget…
…we are now implementing a £160 billion plan, to get the best equipment to those men and women who stand between us and those who would do us harm…
…yes – our brilliant, brave armed forces – and we in this Party will always be grateful to them.
Big choices – and there are more in this manifesto.
The choice to hold an EU referendum.
Strong leadership isn’t denying the British people a say and ducking the issue…
…it’s negotiating, getting changes on welfare so we can reduce immigration, then letting you decide in an in-out referendum.
There’s the big choice to renew Trident.
Not three submarines, but four, so it’s there 365 days a year.
This is, quite simply, the ultimate insurance policy for our country.
And there’s the big choice on how we deal with Islamist extremism, at home and abroad.
The threat is, in many ways, unprecedented.
Young people with every chance in life, in great schools – leaving Britain and all it offers to join a brutal death cult thousands of miles away.
This manifesto equips the next Government to tackle this threat.
Stopping young people travelling to Syria and Iraq…
…closing our borders to extremist preachers…
…banning those groups who want to congregate to spread their hate.
And yes – we’ll give our security services the powers they need – including keeping up to date their ability to access vital communications data.
We also need to assert the British values of democracy, freedom and the rule of law – and assert them proudly.
Other parties might be wary of causing offence, or of being criticised by those who see every single measure as an affront to their civil liberties.
Well, I have met the parents and loved ones of those killed by terrorists. I read the intelligence reports. I know the threats.
I have to make the judgement calls needed to tackle them.
And I know this above all: our generation must fight the threat of Islamist extremism with the same resolve and tenacity as any threat Britain has faced before.
Because this is the Conservative party – and we will never take risks with our nation’s security.
CLEAR ECONOMIC PLAN
There’s no national security without economic security.
In fact there’s almost nothing without economic security.
Every teacher in our schools, every operation in our NHS, every police officer keeping our streets safe…
…all of it is built on a strong economy.
That’s why this manifesto is about seeing through our clear long-term economic plan.
There’s a balanced plan to clear the deficit.
We’ll do it in the next few years – not through tax rises on you and your family…
…but through sensible savings, reforming welfare and clamping down on tax evasion and avoidance.
Just as in this Parliament, we will take action on the deficit, properly fund the NHS and cut taxes for working people.
What’s more, by 2018 we’ll be running a surplus…
…Britain walking taller, knowing that our economy is secure – and that we haven’t passed on levels of debt to our children that they could never hope to repay.
And in this manifesto there’s more.
We’ve had over 2 million apprenticeships – we’ll have 3 million more.
We’ve had over 25,000 Start-up Loans – we’ll have 50,000 more…
…because we know in the end it’s not Government that create jobs – it’s businesses.
We’ve seen the North growing faster than the South – we’ll build a Northern Powerhouse to make sure ours is a truly national recovery.
Across our country there will be University Technical Colleges like this one…
…upgraded roads, electrified railways, High speed 2 – and yes, let’s build that new High speed rail link between our great cities in the North too.
See this plan through and Britain will keep exporting, growing, job-creating…
…and yes – we’ll be back in the black…
…but only if Conservatives are back in Government.
A BRIGHTER, MORE SECURE FUTURE
And let’s be clear what all this is for.
The most important words on this manifesto are these:
A brighter, more secure future. For you, and your family.
I didn’t come into politics to be some high-powered accountant and just balance the books.
I desperately want this to be a country where children can make the most of their God-given talents, whatever their background.
Where if you want a job, you can get one.
Where if you’re working, commuting, saving, raising a family – you feel that the odds are stacked for you, not against you.
That’s why I’m here. That’s why I’m a Conservative.
For me, the best moments of the past five years haven’t been about the pomp and ceremony, the G8 meetings or G20 meetings…
…they’ve been the meeting with couples who have the keys to their first home, the apprentices learning a trade, the people knowing the satisfaction of a day’s work after years on the dole.
That’s what I mean by a good life – families secure, the peace of mind that comes with a proper job and a career, the security of knowing your children are getting a great education.
And that’s why the next five years are much, much more important than the past five.
Because having rescued our economy and set Britain back on her feet, now is our chance to truly finish the job…
…to make this a country where those who work hard and do the right thing can enjoy a good life.
This manifesto is thick with plans to achieve that.
We are taking – and will continue to take – the difficult decisions necessary:
Controlling welfare to reward work.
Pursuing multinationals so they pay their tax.
Making Government more efficient.
Saving £1 for every £100 the Government spends for two years.
And through the Parliament, we will make sure:
The personal tax threshold is raised to £12,500.
You don’t pay the 40p tax until you’re earning £50,000.
Your family home is taken out of inheritance tax.
There’s £8billion more a year for our NHS – so it’s there for your family – and there 7 days a week.
Rail fares are frozen for five years.
500 new Free Schools are delivered.
And 200,000 Starter Homes are built.
A manifesto that is right there, four-square, behind working people in our country – only a Conservative Government can deliver it.
And today, in this manifesto, we have three new commitments to make to the working people of Britain.
Part of having a good life is having a home of your own.
It’s not about ‘assets’ and ‘appreciating values’ – it’s about someone standing there with their keys in their hand thinking ‘this place is mine.’
That’s why Conservatives have committed to building a property-owning democracy for generations…
…and today I can tell you what this generation of Conservatives is going to do about it.
As the most expensive council properties fall vacant, we are going to require councils to sell them off – and we’ll replace them with new affordable housing in the same area.
That will save billions of pounds a year to re-invest in housing, to make sure more people can get a home of their own.
We will use the money saved to do two things.
First, we will create a £1 billion Brownfield Regeneration Fund.
This will be money for councils to get brownfield land ready to build on, to get diggers in the ground and make way for 400,000 new homes.
And second, we are going to use that money to radically expand one of the Conservative Party’s landmark ideas: the Right to Buy your council house.
That right is currently denied to most of the people who live in housing associations.
I can tell you: the next Conservative Government will extend the Right to Buy to all housing association tenants in this country.
That’s 1.3 million extra families – a whole new generation given the security of a home.
So let the message ring out from this generation of Conservatives: you’ve worked hard, you’ve saved, the home you live in, it’s yours to buy, yours to own…
…the dream of a property-owning democracy is alive – and we will fulfil it.
A good life should mean that raising your family feels like an incredible and joyful and – yes – sometimes exhausting journey…
…but it shouldn’t be a permanent struggle with the bills.
That’s why our second commitment to working people is on childcare.
For families with young children, this is not one issue among many – it is the issue.
They’re asking: how can we make this work? How can we afford it?
It shouldn’t have to be this way.
That’s why we’re making childcare tax free.
It’s why we already fund 15 hours of free universal childcare a week for families with 3 and 4 year olds.
And I can tell you today, we are going further. A lot further.
Because of the changes we have made to curb pension relief for the highest earners, we can afford to make the following commitment.
We are going to take that free childcare – and for working families, we will double it.
With a Conservative Government, you will get 30 hours of free childcare a week…
…equivalent to £5000 a year.
So we say to the working parents of three and four year olds:
Five thousand pounds of savings for you…
…only with five more years of Conservatives in government.
TAX-FREE MINIMUM WAGE
It’s hard having a good life without a good job.
So commitment number three to working people: we’re going to make sure work really pays in our country – not just now, but always.
We’ve already made that major increase in the personal allowance, so you can now earn £10,600 without paying any income tax at all.
By 2020 we will have raised that further – to £12,500 – making sure no-one on the Minimum Wage who works 30 hours a week pays any income tax on their wages.
Today I can tell you we’re going to go one further.
We are going to legislate that as the Minimum Wage rises – the basic tax-free allowance is automatically uprated too.
You heard that right.
If Conservatives are in Government, we will change the law so that no-one earning the Minimum Wage will pay income tax …
…yes: the tax-free Minimum Wage.
This is a landmark change, with echoes of an earlier one.
Back in 1977, two backbenchers secured the landmark Rooker-Wise amendment in the Budget.
Its purpose – to link the personal tax allowance to inflation, so the lowest earners weren’t over taxed and taxed by stealth.
And what we’re announcing today is the modern, compassionate Conservative version of that change.
It means we can proudly say that this is the party of working people…
…for millions of workers not just the party of low income tax…
…the party of no income tax.
This is what we offer.
Strong leadership. A clear economic plan. A brighter, more secure future.
All of it rooted in who we are as Conservatives.
Conservatism isn’t some high and mighty abstract theory – it’s a set of down-to-earth values…
…the expression of what is in the hearts of the majority of people in our country.
If you want to know who I’m in it for, I’m in it for the people who live within the rules, who do the right thing…
…who set the alarm early in the morning, do the school run, clock in at work…
…whose good deeds and good humour are what makes British communities strong.
People whose patriotism may be quiet but whose love for this country is deep and great.
And I share it.
I am above all a patriot.
I love my country with all my heart.
That’s why five years ago, almost to the day, I stood on a stage like this asking you to give me, and this party, five years to save our country from ruin.
And it’s why I stand on this stage and ask you for five more to finish the job.
With five more years we can turn the good news in our economy into a good life for you and your family.
With five more years we can have more people hearing that they’ve got a job…
…more people standing in their new home…
…or watching their children walk into a brilliant school…
…or seeing their daughter start an apprenticeship…
…or knowing real dignity in retirement…
…security at every stage of your life.
My message to Britain is this: we have come this far together.
Let’s not waste the past five years.
Now is not a time to put it all at risk – it’s the time to build on the progress we have made.
We offer a good life for those willing to try – because we are the party of working people.
So if you want a more secure Britain…
…if you want a brighter future for your family, and for you…
…then together, let’s not go back to square one – let’s finish what we have begun.