After earlier admitting the general election was on a “knife edge” the Prime Minister used a newspaper interview yesterday to set out a series of policies designed to appeal to traditional Tory voters.
He reaffirmed his commitment to cut net migration into Britain to below 100,000 a year – despite having failed to meet his “no ifs, no buts” target in the current Parliament.
Mr Cameron highlighted government pension reforms which will see millions of over-55s gain unfettered access to their retirement savings worth a total of £140 billion.
He insisted that he could keep his promise that there would be no more cuts to the size of the regular armed forces, even though he has not committed to maintaining the Nato target of spending 2 per cent of GDP on defence.
And he said that the government would use “everything at our disposal” to put the Islamic State terrorist known as Jihadi John “out of action”.
Mr Cameron acknowledged that he needed to win back traditional Tory voters who had “drifted off” to other parties if he was to return to No 10 in May.
“I accept I have a task in the next 41 days to win back people who are instinctively Conservative, who have strong Conservative values, and some of them have drifted off to other parties. I need to win them back,” he said.
“It’s not easy being in coalition. We have had to take some difficult decisions and inevitably over five years you lose some people’s support.”
He indicated that he would want to go further on tax breaks for married couples, having been restricted to one relatively limited cut due to the opposition of the Liberal Democrats.
“I think it’s absolutely right that we recognise marriage in the tax system properly and I would like to see that expanded,” he said.
He pointed to new official calculations which showed up to £140bn in retirement savings will be released when, from 6 April, over 55s are allowed to cash in their pension pots.
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