Fight through global economic storm, urges Cameron


Cameron: 'Our plan is right, our plan will work'

Prime Minister David Cameron has said the UK must not be "paralysed by gloom and fear" but show "some fight" to get through the global economic storm.

In his Tory conference speech he warned that the threat of global recession was as serious as it was in 2008.

But he urged a "can-do" attitude and the "spirit of Britain" to see the country through to better times.

Labour accused him of "squeezing living standards and choking off the economic recovery" as UK growth was downgraded.

Mr Cameron's speech to the Conservative Party conference in Manchester was delivered as official figures showed slower UK economic growth than had been thought and amid the worsening eurozone crisis.

Part of the speech was re-written at a late stage to remove a call for households to pay off credit card debts amid Downing Street fears Mr Cameron would appear out-of-touch with ordinary voters.

'Slowly, but surely'

During the 50-minute address, he told party activists that "nobody wants false optimism" about the state of the economy and acknowledged it was an "anxious" time for many people, with rising prices, job losses and a shortage of affordable housing.

"As we meet here in Manchester, the threat to the world economy - and to Britain - is as serious today as it was in 2008 when world recession loomed.

Start Quote

Let's summon the energy and the appetite to fight for a better future for our country, Great Britain”

End Quote David Cameron

"The eurozone is in crisis, the French and German economies have slowed to a standstill; even mighty America is being questioned about her debts," he said.

But Mr Cameron rejected Labour calls for a slowdown in deficit reduction and to introduce short-term tax cuts to boost growth, telling party members: "Our plan is right and our plan will work.

"I know you can't see it or feel it yet. But think of it like this: the new economy we're building, it's like building a house. The most important part is the part you can't see - the foundations that make it stable.

"Slowly, but surely, we're laying the foundations for a better future. But this is the crucial point: it will only work if we stick with it."

Mr Cameron struck a self-consciously upbeat tone during much of the speech as he invoked what he called "the British spirit".

He said that "we don't have to accept that success in this century belongs to others" and urged the UK to "show the world some fight".

And he repeatedly stressed that only he could provide the leadership the country needs in "difficult times" - as demonstrated, he said, by his decision to go to war in Libya.

'Can-do optimism'

He rejected claims that the government was doing nothing to boost growth, saying the only way to deal with Britain's "debt crisis" was to pay off its debts.

He pointed to planning reforms and cutting red tape as examples of how the government was boosting growth - but vowed not to repeat the mistakes of the past on bank regulation when building the "new" economy.

Mr Cameron said it would be down to the British people - and British industry - to make growth happen: "Let's reject the pessimism. Let's bring on the can-do optimism. Let's summon the energy and the appetite to fight for a better future for our country, Great Britain."

And he had a tough message for critics of controversial planning reforms: "To those who just oppose everything we're doing, my message is this: Take your arguments down to the job centre. We've got to get Britain back to work."

Start Quote

Our economic difficulties have gone well past the point where can-do optimism can make a difference”

End Quote Brendan Barber TUC

There were few new policies - apart from an announcement that 90,000 young people would take part in the third year of the National Citizen Service and plans to increase the adoption rate for children in care.

And he got a round of applause for announcing a consultation on legalising gay marriage.

His jibe that his party does not "boo" its former leaders - a reference to the heckling of Tony Blair's name at Labour's conference last week - went down very well in the hall.

His vow to keep Britain out of the euro and avoid eurozone bail outs also got good rounds of applause - as did his promise never let Labour anywhere near the British economy again.

'Action not rhetoric'

He ended with a direct message to the nation: "We have the people, we have the ideas and now we have a government that's freeing those people, backing those ideas.

"So let's see an optimistic future. Let's show the world some fight. Let's pull together, work together. And together lead Britain to better days."

For Labour, shadow business minister Chuka Umunna said his party had set out a five-point plan to create jobs, while Mr Cameron continued to offer "nothing but platitudes and more of the same".

"This morning David Cameron was lecturing families about the need to pay off credit card bills. By the afternoon he had been forced to drop the offending language, but his policies are still squeezing living standards and choking off the economic recovery," he added.

Trades Union Congress general secretary Brendan Barber said: "Our economic difficulties have gone well past the point where can-do optimism can make a difference.

"We need policies for jobs and growth and help for families suffering the biggest fall in living standards in a generation."

Federation of Small Businesses chairman John Walker welcomed the prime minister's "vision of a deregulated economy" but said there must now be "clear action to match the rhetoric."



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  • rate this

    Comment number 668.

    The 20 odd percent interest you are paying on a loan or credit card is going straight to all the banks profits & to the greedy bosses of those banks! He's saying instead lets save using the money we earn to buy the nice things we want...therefore re-investing this money into the economy! Makes good sense to me. Times need to change. Something I finally agree on with Cameron.

  • rate this

    Comment number 667.

    Cameron just said in his speech that whilst he is PM we will never join the Euro, it must be imminent then! when he wanted to be elected as PM he told us that if he were elected he would give us a referendum on europe. Hipocrit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 666.

    tory ecconomic policy we have done nothing and nothing has happened so we will keep on doing nothing.

  • rate this

    Comment number 665.

    Maybe someone should have a word with a Mr Dave Hartnett of HMRC who is apparently single-handedly giving away billions of ££££'s of potential tax revenue to mega-corporations and millionaires who have their money stashed in Swiss bank accounts (and now have 3 years warning to move them somewhere else!)
    If anyone still thinks we're "all in it together" they are insane!

  • rate this

    Comment number 664.

    Cameron and his cronies have no idea how the banks are operating towards the ordinary people of this country.

    A recent marketing letter I received from my bank confirmed they are still the same sharks and bandits they have always been.

  • rate this

    Comment number 663.

    it's strange to think that the banks can charge an individual for being a few pounds overdrawn and feel justified in doing so when they owe us billions and appear to be doing business as usual, with their fatcat bonuses. Anyone can make the big bonuses when they're playing with other peoples money. The recent issue with the swiss bank UBS indicates how little the banks have changed their ways

  • rate this

    Comment number 662.

    Sorry, but I think that a fridge is essential. It keeps foodstuff chilled and from going off (unless it is way out of date). Have you ever been without the bare necessities? Have you ever had your energy supply cut off? Have you ever been hungry? Stop generalising. I am surprised that you haven't mentioned tatoos or ciggies. Anyone in debt is feckless, end of, according to you posters.

  • rate this

    Comment number 661.

    The banks have successfully ripped us off twice. All our deposits in banks are loans to the bank. Once the banks had squandered that money, we had to pay them more so they "might" be able to pay us back what we had loaned to them in the first place.

    I'll also be deprived of services for which I pay taxes thanks to the waste of the banks.

    Don't bail out the bank, bail me out!

  • rate this

    Comment number 660.

    Does 'reckless borrowing' also include the shopowners who have taken out loans to pay for the damages in the August distrubances because the Government are playing games with the reading of the riot act?

    What about the 'reckless borrowers' who have taken out loans to pay for a private operation the NHS cannot provide for another 6 years?

    Reckless borrowers...

  • rate this

    Comment number 659.

    And when does this 'Blue Jerusalem' day dawn? The nation is not poor,its wealth is just unevenly spread and those with the thickest end of the sandwich are hell bent on keeping it that way. Labour made dreadful errors but the fault lies in large part with already rich men and women being greedy. No to this solution. Id rather us go cap in hand to Europe and ask for a bail out!

  • rate this

    Comment number 658.

    So, without borrowing, how are these, in a good job, council tenants going to buy their homes and our grade A students going to get to university?
    It's the wealth distribution in this country that's the problem but the Tories and now Labour refuse to say it as that will upset the very people who fund their parties and ultimately decide our country's policies!

  • rate this

    Comment number 657.

    Our problem is not about how many individual businesses and individuals are in debt but whether this is "bad debt" i.e. living beyond our means with no hope of paying back this debt with interest. In a working capitalist economy successful enterprises should be in debt.... and people and businesses in "bad debt" should be supported in growing and becoming productive and successful.

  • rate this

    Comment number 656.

    Talk about mixed messages!

    In one speech David Cameron says, Debt is bad! Pay off all your loans.

    In another he says to our children: Debt is good! Don't worry about our massive increase to tuition fees, we'll loan you the money so you end up £40000+ in debt!

    He forces our kids into a lifelong debt and then criticises people for getting into debt! Joined up thinking? I think not!

  • rate this

    Comment number 655.

    Bring Back Brown he sorted all this out last time getting all the other leaders to work together.
    This time all that is happening is they all are protecting their backs including Cameron who can only blame Gordon Brown. Look haw many jobs have been lost - Bombardia- BAE it is far better having people working paying tax and reducing their debts instead of receiving dole money.
    So SOS BBB

  • rate this

    Comment number 654.

    He is a PR man for deregulation. The exact ideology that has put the country, Europe and the US in this mess. However all parties are to blame? Or are they? Is this convenient. Does big business, the finance and media barons control politics these days? If so we really ARE in big trouble. I cannot understand a mindset that votes for people like Thatcher, Blair or Cameron.

  • rate this

    Comment number 653.

    I'll give you debt it's called a mortgage. I take it that Camer'clown will tell you to pay that off next! I hope his speech mentions his abysmal GDP fig's his uncontrolled rise in inflation from the BoE clowns, the terrifying rise in unemployment and the increase in food parcels for people on the poverty line Oh & how are your friends the CITY BANKERS doing not bad for 1 & 1/2 years work Dave isit

  • rate this

    Comment number 652.

    Terry66 maybe take some personal responsibility for the loans that YOU signed up for or the credit cards YOU spent on!

    Damian Cunliffe you really think paying off credit cards helps the bankers. They would rather you didn't and keep paying the interest so maybe paying off cards is just very sensible advice!

  • rate this

    Comment number 651.

    632.Sam Lowry

    Who's an old Estonian ??

    If he's a criminal we'd better make sure he's deported.....or am I getting confused with yesterdays HYS

  • rate this

    Comment number 650.


    Gordon Brown was warned back in 2004/05 about his spiralling debt by the IMF, OECD & CBI yet he ignored them. He even changed the date of his economic cycle plan so he could borrow more without breaking his own fiscal rules. Brown had racked up record peacetime debt before the bank bailouts.

  • rate this

    Comment number 649.

    Pete - post 606
    Glad to hear that you can manage your finances okay. I bet you are not in a low paid, low skilled occupation. Rubbing everyone's nose in it will not help."

    Its taken years of hard work and some very difficult financial times Verity. Not everyone can be highly paid , its always been that way and always will be .


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