Don't wreck the recovery, says Brown

Gordon Brown will warn voters today not to "wreck the recovery" in a New Year's message setting out the political battlelines ahead of 2010's general election.

The Prime Minister, who polls suggest faces an uphill struggle to cling on to power, will promise to publish a blueprint to "really get Britain moving again".

In a webcast for the Downing Street website, he will set out an optimistic assessment of the country's prospects for economic recovery in the next 12 months.

But, echoing recent attacks on the Tories as elitist, he will warn against "a decade of austerity and unfairness where the majority lose out while the privileged few protect themselves".

Only Labour policies would ensure "the people on middle and modest incomes who don't want any special favours" benefited as well, he will say - according to extracts released in advance.

The message puts economic recovery at the top of a list of resolutions for 2010 that also includes "radical" public service reform, "a new cleaned up politics" and tackling terrorism.

And it includes a promise to publish later this week the first part of a "prosperity plan for a successful, fairer and more responsible Britain" - including investment in high-speed rail, aerospace, the digital economy, clean energy and other "industries and jobs of the future".

Mr Brown has faced some criticism from within his own ministerial ranks for what is perceived as a bid to launch a "class war" battle with Eton-educated David Cameron's Conservative Opposition.

But his New Year message will include a direct appeal to the party's core vote.

"There are some who say we must plan for a decade of austerity and unfairness where the majority lose out while the privileged few protect themselves," he will say.

"I believe we can create a decade of shared prosperity - with opportunities fairly shared among all those who work hard and play by the rules."

In an upbeat assessment, he will go on: "We can be incredibly proud that Britain's dynamic entrepreneurs have defied the recession to start up nearly half a million new businesses.

"There are now three million British businesses - more than at any point since records began in the 1980s, and fewer businesses closed in 2009, than in 2008.

"And I am confident that, if we continue with the tough decisions we have made, unemployment will start to drop this year, and more small businesses will open and flourish.

"That wasn't inevitable; it was the change we chose. And so my message today is simple: don't wreck the recovery.

"The recovery is still fragile, and it needs to be nurtured in the interests of those who were hit hardest by the recession - the people on middle and modest incomes who don't want any special favours - they simply want a bit of help to own their own home, set up their own business, and give their children the best start in life".

As the election looms - it must be held by June - the Prime Minister will declare that he believes the vast majority of British people believe things "have to" change.

"In my life, I have learnt that there are only really two kinds of people: those who think things can never change; and those who believe they have to.

"And I think the vast majority of British people are in the second camp. We are a nation that combines responsibility with fairness, compassion with aspiration - always reaching higher, dreaming bigger, aiming for ever greater things".

He will conclude: "My first priority is securing the recovery while cutting the deficit in a sensible and fair way.

"The second is radical reform of our public services while protecting frontline spending on schools, hospitals and the police.

"The third is a new, cleaned up politics.

"And the fourth is maintaining Britain's global strength and fulfilling our responsibilities against the terrorist threat from Afghanistan and the wider world.

"Britain is too great a country with so much potential - and people with such high aspirations - that in the coming decade we must not settle for anything less than big ambitions.

"We are determined to reduce the deficit at a responsible pace, without choking off the recovery or damaging the frontline services the mainstream majority rely on.

"And so our strategy is to go for growth, because we want to build our country up not talk Britain down.

"Later this week we will be publishing the first part of our prosperity plan for a successful, fairer and more responsible Britain: a plan detailing how we will invest in the industries and jobs of the future. From high-speed rail to aerospace to the digital economy to clean energy to advanced manufacturing, 2010 is when we will really get Britain moving forward again."

Shadow home secretary Chris Grayling said: "This backward-looking New Year message shows that despite warnings from his own Cabinet Gordon Brown remains intent on waging a negative and pointless class war.

"Gordon Brown has spent money like there is no tomorrow yet the gap between rich and poor has grown wider than ever. This message sounds like the last throw of the dice from a Government that has no idea how to solve Britain's problems."

Cabinet Office Minister Tessa Jowell warned Mr Brown last week not to turn the general election campaign into a "hideous" class war with Mr Cameron.

Her warning came after Mr Brown used a recent Prime Minister's Questions to accuse the Tory leader of pursuing policies dreamt up "on the playing fields of Eton".

The move was seen by some observers as a retreat into a "core vote" strategy appealing to Labour's traditional supporters rather than the broad alliance which backed Tony Blair to three election victories.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
News
Tangerine Dream Edgar Froese
people
News
Rob Lowe
peopleRob Lowe hits out at Obama's snub of Benjamin Netanyahu
News
Davies (let) says: 'Everybody thought we were having an affair. It was never true!'
people'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Arts and Entertainment
Over their 20 years, the band has built a community of dedicated followers the world over
music
News
Staff assemble outside the old City Road offices in London
mediaThe stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century at Britain's youngest paper
Life and Style
The Oliver twins, Philip and Andrew, at work creating the 'Dizzy' arcade-adventure games in 1988
techDocumentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Arts and Entertainment
Krall says: 'My hero player-singer is Elton John I used to listen to him as a child, every single record
music
News
Friends for life … some professionals think loneliness is more worrying than obesity
scienceSocial contact is good for our sense of wellbeing - but it's a myth that loneliness kills, say researchers
Arts and Entertainment
The Wu-Tang Clan will sell only one copy of their album Once Upon A Time In Shaolin
musicWu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own only copies of their latest albums
News
i100
Environment
Number so freshwater mussels in Cumbria have plummeted from up to three million in the 20th century to 500,000
environment
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Austen Lloyd: Private Client Solicitor - Oxford

Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...

Austen Lloyd: Clinical Negligence Associate / Partner - Bristol

Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Consultant - Solar Energy - OTE £50,000

£15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...

Recruitment Genius: Compute Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...

Day In a Page

Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us