David Cameron: Labour’s business bashing is ‘crazy’

David Cameron today promised to make Britain a "land of opportunity" as he accused Labour of a "crazy" attempt to bash British business.

The prime minister used his conference speech in Manchester to claim that Miliband was treating enterprise as a "dirty word."

“Profit, wealth creation, tax cuts, enterprise — these are not dirty, elitist words," he said

"They are not the problem. They really are the solution, because it’s not government that creates jobs, it’s businesses."

He said plans by the Labour leader to shift tax breaks away from big businesses to smaller businesses were "crazy".

"I know that bashing business might play to a Labour audience. But it’s crazy for our country," he said.

"So if Labour’s plan for jobs is to attack business – ours is to back business," he added.

His comments follow a controversy earlier this week, when Cameron claimed that Miliband's proposal to cut tax breaks for big business was "nuts".

The prime minister was urged by mental health campaigners to stop using such terms. 

Cameron also accused Labour of threatening Britain's economic recovery.

"I see that Labour have stopped talking about the debt crisis and now they talk about the cost of living crisis. As if one wasn’t directly related to the other," he said.

"If you want to know what happens if you don’t deal with a debt crisis and how it affects the cost of living, just go and ask the Greeks."

The Labour leader used his party conference speech last week to offer cheaper childcare and help with rising energy bills.

Cameron today accused Miliband of offering a "quick fix" to people's economic problems.

“It’s businesses that get wages into people’s pockets, food on their tables, hope for their families and success for our country," he said.

"There is no short cut to a land of opportunity. No quick fix. No easy way to do it."

Echoing political slogans from the United States, he repeatedly referred to Britain as a "land of opportunity" and the Conservatives as a "party of hope."

“It is the great Conservative mission that as our economy starts to recover we build a land of opportunity in our country today.”

He repeated his party's pledge to erase the deficit, but insisted that he also cares about people's lives.

"I didn’t come into politics just to fix what went wrong, but to build something right,” he said.

“We in this party, we don’t dream of deficits and decimal points and dry fiscal plans, our dreams are about helping people get on in life."

The speech was well received in the hall. 

"It was brilliant. For years I thought the Tory party had backed opportunity, and it was really well set out," policing minister Damian Green told Politics.co.uk.

"Labour has drawn a clear line that it is anti-business. The Conservative party is pro-business because that's what creates opportunity for people to get jobs, and that's what this speech set out," he added.

Cameron's speech comes as a senior party figure poured water on the party's hopes of winning the next election.

"We're all hoping we're going to get an overall majority at the next election. That's going to be an extremely tall order, a very tall order," former Tory chancellor Ken Clarke said last night, adding that "We've got to get Ukip down to a sensible size."

A new poll of 88 local tory constituency chairmen also found that just half expected David Cameorn to win an overall majority at the next election, with 46% saying they expected him to fall short.

The poll for ITV News by Comres, also found the party believe their recent recovery in the polls was due to Osborne's policies rather than Cameron's.