With a general election under two years away, Manchester 2013 will be remembered as a landmark conference, where the Conservative Party focussed not only on what it has to do for the country, but why it is doing it. In the conference hall and exhibition space, banners hung from the roof rafters reminding delegates of our record in office. We have cut income tax for 25 million people, capped welfare and created 1.4 million new private sector jobs. The message to members and to the wider public was simple, we are proud of our deficit reduction strategy and are on the side of hardworking people who play by the rules.
It is very easy for the Labour Party to sit back and attack the ‘cost of living crisis – but the fact they ignore is that this very crisis was created by Gordon Brown and Ed Miliband with their ludicrous over-spending and poor management. The Conservatives are cleaning up the mess and opinion polls demonstrate that the public see that the tough decisions are working and also see that these decisions are being taken in the national interest for the good of the country.
Under the direction of George Osborne and David Cameron, the British economy is growing at the fastest rate in the developed world. There have been huge savings made across all government departments, with welfare rebalanced to ensure it pays to work instead of spending a life on benefits. The private sector is growing fast, and more and more people are getting into work. Added to this, the Help to Buy scheme is designed to ensure more and more people can own their own home, carrying on a key policy implemented previously by the late Margaret Thatcher.
As we head closer to a general election, Conservative Party members need to heed the words of Liam Fox who recently spoke at a Blue Collar Conservatives event saying, “We have got to have more faith in ourselves and be proud of what we have achieved and if we are proud of ourselves it shows.”
The Conservative Party has a record of which we can be truly proud, now we need to make the case to voters in the lead up to 2015.