Speaking in Birmingham today, Cameron outlined his three-pronged approach for how the Tory Government would “spend within its means”, reducing the demand on the state, reforming public services and improving efficiency and transparency.
He said the country feels the Government is ripping it off and that the people “can’t take any more pain”.
He said: “The anger today is about more than Labour’s economic incompetence. It’s about more than Labour’s failure to advance progressive ideals. The reason people are more and more angry with the Government today is that while they see their taxes going up and up, there’s no corresponding improvement in the quality of their lives. There’s a real sense of unfairness that people are feeling today.
“They feel that Labour have broken the basic bargain between Government and the people, the bargain that says: ‘we’ll take money off you in taxes, and you’ll get decent quality services in return’. That’s what I want to focus on today. With the rising cost of living, taxpayers can’t take any more pain indeed they want a Government that can give them the prospect of relief. And our economy can’t take any more pain without losing jobs to lower tax competitors.”
Cameron’s plan to cut spending involves reducing the cost of “social failure” – family breakdown, unemployment, drug and alcohol addiction.
He said: “These social problems rack up the biggest bills for Government, so we’ve got to get them down.”
Secondly he proposes cutting the cost of unreformed public services. He said the Tories would improve the running of public services through more choice, competition and non-state collective provision because state monopolies “cost more and deliver less”.
He also said the cost of bureaucracy itself needed to come down claiming “all bureaucracies have an inbuilt tendency to grow, so we need to call a halt to the wasteful spending and inefficiency we’ve seen under Labour”.
Cameron attacked Brown’s draft Queen’s speech, outlined last week, claiming it proves the “cupboard is bare” when it comes to policies, but refused to leak any plans to reform the tax system until closer to the next election.
In response to the speech, Liberal Democrat Shadow Chancellor Vince Cable said Cameron’s vision for the UK economy was just an “empty shell”.
He said: “The Conservatives’ attempts to make a virtue of having no policies will not convince anyone. You cannot simply claim you will make Government more efficient and improve public services without offering any concrete solutions for how you will do it. In reality, tough choices about all areas of Government spending must be made. Cameron insists on talking about sharing the proceeds of growth, despite the fact that all experts expect growth to fall. What exactly is he planning to share? This hotchpotch of vacuous platitudes merely confirms how hopelessly ill-prepared the Conservative party is for power.”