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(1) Show Labour failed, says Osborne, (2) Show that they are still failing, and (3) Show that Conservatives will be different

Speaking to the Brighton Spring Forum, George Osborne - boosted yesterday by a warm endorsement from the Wall Street Journal Europe - said that the Tories had to win three battles in the weeks ahead. Those battles are highlighted below alongside key extracts from George Osborne's speech.

First we had to win the battle of the past by reminding every voter of Gordon Brown's record as Chancellor.

"“Prudence with a purpose” Gordon Brown said. Before he began tripling the national debt. “No more boom and bust” he boasted time and again. Before he gave us the biggest boom and the deepest bust. “A future fair for all” he first promised seven years ago. Since when deep poverty has been rising, social mobility falling, the many have got poorer and the few have got richer, and Gordon Brown’s policies have hurt the very people he claims to care about."

"So we will talk about Labour’s past record because it is a guide to the present. For the man who gave us:

-       the pensions raid
-       the stealth taxes
-       the double counting
-       the phoney fiscal rules
-       the gold sales at the bottom of the market
-       that 10p tax con...
The man who wrenched banking supervision from the Bank of England. The man who failed to fix the roof when the sun was shining. The man who is now planning to raise tax on jobs in the middle of a recovery – the National Insurance increase that we will try our hardest to avoid. The man who in the middle of a recession unleashed the forces of hell against his own Chancellor. The man who led us into this almighty mess - that man, Gordon Brown, is not the man who can lead us out."

The second battle is the battle of the present. Every voter must know that Labour has failed to handle the recession.

"We were the last economy in the G20 to leave recession and we see one of the weakest recoveries. A record one in five young people cannot find work. Our budget deficit is the highest in the entire developed world. One pound in every four our government is spending has to be borrowed from the markets. And for the first time ever, those markets are threatening to downgrade our credit rating."

The third battle is to convince the British people that Conservatives have the right policies for Britain's economic future.

"The Prime Minister unleashes the forces of hell. I want us to unleash the forces of enterprise. Ken has already detailed many of the things we will do. Let me go further and say this. Our first budget will contain funded measures to boost enterprise and create jobs. We will abolish the tax on new jobs created in new businesses. We will cut the corporation tax rate paid for by removing complex relefis and attract international headquarters to Britain. We will reduce the small companies tax rate by simplifying the tax code and make it far easier to get a business started. For I am absolutely passionate about supporting small businesses. Together these will help power an enterprise revolution. A growing private sector, freed from the burdens of red tape and complex taxation, able to offer those without work hope. A private sector in which our entrepreneurs are given every help they need to build our economic future and create the jobs Britons desperately need. And then they will help us achieve the overriding goal I set for Conservative economic policy in the next Parliament."

Tim Montgomerie


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