DCSIMG

David Cameron defends ‘austerity to 2020’ plan

Prime Minister David Cameron at Conservative Party Conference in Mancheste. Picture: Getty

Prime Minister David Cameron at Conservative Party Conference in Mancheste. Picture: Getty

CONSERVATIVE plans to stick to an austerity programme for at least another seven years were defended today by David Cameron.

Conservative Party Conference 2013

Eric Pickles mocks Labour-Lib Dem coalition

Iain Duncan Smith brushes off Osborne ‘comment’

Chancellor George Osborne announced plans yesterday to commit a future Conservative government to running a surplus in the years after the deficit is eliminated - effectively meaning no let-up in spending discipline until the end of the next parliament in 2020.

At the Conservative conference in Manchester, the Prime Minister backed the plan, echoing Mr Osborne’s warnings that if Britain does not reduce its debt, it risks being pushed “over the brink” by a future economic crisis.

Mr Cameron said: “What we are saying is that in the next parliament we should be targeting to have a surplus rather than a deficit.

“Our deficit is the annual overdraft, if you like, and as long as you have an overdraft, you are adding to the overall stock of debt in the economy.

“Our debt levels are at a very high level. As the Chancellor put it yesterday, the last crisis put us close to the brink. If we had another crisis and we hadn’t got our debt levels down, then that could push us over the brink. This is the responsible thing to do.

More than 700,000 US government workers face unpaid leave in the first federal shutdown in 17 years after a midnight deadline passed for a budget deal.

Mr Cameron said of the US shutdown: “It is a reminder to all of us that we that we need to have properly-planned public expenditure systems, properly-planned tax, properly-planned arrangements for getting our deficit down.

The Prime Minister also claimed that a Conservative government would deliver a “better prime minister” and “stronger action” than the current coalition.

Mr Cameron said the country was “crying out” for strong leadership that only a Conservative government could provide.

He said: “I absolutely feel that I would be a better Prime Minister of a stronger government if it was a Conservative-only government.

“And I’ll tell you why - this is not for my benefit - I feel that the country is now crying out for even stronger action on the priorities that matter: delivering for hard-working people, getting people’s taxes back, sorting out the mess of these welfare and immigration systems, securing a proper place in Europe with an in/out referendum.

“These things need to be done and I feel that the country feels that strongly, so I’ll be putting a very strong case in front of the country for a Conservative government.”

Tory-only government strongest

A Conservative government would deliver a “better prime minister” and “stronger action”, David Cameron said today as he hinted that talks are under way which could see Boris Johnson make a return to Parliament.

The Prime Minister also dismissed suggestions that the loss of a Commons vote on Syria’s use of chemical weapons was a verdict on his leadership and that he had acted immaturely in the aftermath of the vote.

Mr Cameron said the country was “crying out” for strong leadership that only a Conservative government could provide.

“I absolutely feel that I would be a better Prime Minister of a stronger government if it was a Conservative-only government.

“And I’ll tell you why - this is not for my benefit - I feel that the country is now crying out for even stronger action on the priorities that matter: delivering for hard-working people, getting people’s taxes back, sorting out the mess of these welfare and immigration systems, securing a proper place in Europe with an in/out referendum.

“These things need to be done and I feel that the country feels that strongly, so I’ll be putting a very strong case in front of the country for a Conservative government.”

Mr Cameron said that, while it was right that a coalition was formed in 2010, he was “single-minded” about delivering a majority Conservative government in 2015 and he would make his case to the British people in the run-up to the election.

He said he had had discussions about a possible return to Parliament with the London Mayor Boris Johnson, although he stressed that a decision had not yet been taken.

Asked how likely a return was, Mr Cameron said: “That’s up to Boris. I’ve had this conversation with Boris and my message to him is ‘You’re a brilliant Mayor of London, you’ve done a great job, you’ve got a lot more to give to public life, and it would be great to have you back in the House of Commons at some stage, contributing to public life’. But that’s up to him, but I’ll certainly be giving him a warm welcome.”

Asked if Mr Cameron could see his former Eton schoolmate make a comeback as a Member of Parliament at the next election, he replied: “Absolutely - but that’s a matter for him. I think he needs to think about - it’s his plan. All I know that he’s a massive asset to the country, a massive asset to the Conservative Party. We could make a very strong team together, we do today.”

Also quizzed on whether there was a potential job for Mr Johnson within the party, Mr Cameron said: “Obviously, this is all dependent on what Boris wants to do - whether he wants another term, whether he wants to become an MP.”

He added: “I think he’s got an enormous amount go give to public life, and I don’t think he’s given up on that idea either. So I think we’re quite well aligned if I can put it that way.”

 

Comments

 
 

Back to the top of the page