David Cameron championed an “aspiration nation” at the Conservative’s annual conference on Wednesday, as he addressed his party at Symphony Hall in Birmingham. The Prime Minister admitted the economy was not recovering as fast as he had hoped, but positioned Britain as a country than can rise from the bottom to the top. He said that the Conservative focus on cutting the deficit was not an indication that business growth was not on the agenda. He said businesses need low interest rates for loans and the confidence to invest. He added: “Getting the deficit down is essential for both.That’s why our deficit reduction plan is not an alternative to a growth plan: it’s the very foundation of our growth plan.”
The Prime Minister stuck to the core Tory ethos, and said: “We say we’ve got to get the private sector bigger and the public sector smaller,” and added that this is best route to sustainable job creation. Although the Conservative leader admitted the poor state of the economy, he highlighted progress made in industry, especially in relation to exports to Brazil, China and Russia increasing by 25%, 40% and 80%, respectively. He heralded an age of a “global race” and said it was “an hour of reckoning” for the country.
John Cridland, the Director-General of CBI, said entrepreneurs would welcome the PM’s vision for an “aspiration nation”. He commented: “It was also important that he put the competitiveness challenge at the heart of his speech as it is the everyday reality facing UK businesses striving to win orders, and to create jobs and growth. There is no doubt that inventiveness and an ability to seize opportunities in growth markets will be the foundation of future UK success.”
New businesses are being created at the fastest rate ever, the PM said, and burgeoning industries are growing alongside the old. He condemned bureaucracy that blocked expansion in the UK, and challenged business leaders, traders and industry heads to maintain Britain’s position on a global scale. He finished by saying Britain must become a country on the rise. He concluded: “We know what it takes to win ... to win in the tough world of today .... to win for all our people ... to win for Britain. So let’s get out there and do it.”