Britain under the Conservatives will have the highest employment rate in the developed world and a job “for everyone who wants one” by 2020, David Cameron said last night.
Outlining one of his most audacious targets for another term as Prime Minister, Mr Cameron said his party would help business to create a further two million jobs– taking it ahead of Germany and Japan and bringing it close to what he described as “ effective full employment”.
“I see no reason why we can’t get to a level which is higher [than now] … that we’d see as full employment,” he said in an interview with the Daily Mail. “The way I’d define it is a job for everyone that wants one.”
He said it would be achieved by working through the Government's plan for full employment set out in January, including backing business, keeping jobs taxes low, cutting red tape, and investing in infrastructure.
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The announcement was made ahead of the planned cut of corporation tax to 20 per cent effective from Wednesday – a move that the Labour plans to reverse to pay for a reduction in business rates for small businesses should it come into power in May.
The Conservatives said the latest Treasury estimates showed Britain was on course to overtake Canada on the road to full employment, with the employment rate set to reach 72.6 per cent in the second quarter of this year.
Eager to claw the advantage after the latest Populus poll put the Tories and Labour neck-and-neck, Mr Cameron described the Labour leader as a “Hampstead socialist” who was “more-out-of-touch” than him.
“I do think when you look at what Ed Miliband really thinks, it is a very kind of Hampstead socialist, we know best kind of view,” he said. “It’s that mindset that says choice, freedom, responsibility, aspiration - that these are things to worry about rather than celebrate. That’s what I’m having a go at.”
An Ashcroft poll, the first since the dissolution of Parliament on Monday, put the Conservative Party on 36 per cent, Labour on 34 percent, the UK Independence Party on 10 per cent, and the Liberal Democrats on 6 per cent.
Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Rachel Reeves said the jobs announcement would “mean little to working people”. “The government's failure on low pay has seen a 44 per cent rise in the number of people paid less than a living wage under David Cameron,” she said. “It's time for the Tories to come clean about how working families, children and disabled people will be hit by their secret plan to cut £12billion from the social security budget.”Reuse content