If we win this year's election Britain will be under new economic management. We will send out the loudest signal that this country is back open for business and ready for investment. Decline is not inevitable. Confidence can return. If we take action now – to get a grip on the public finances and unleash enterprise – Britain can have a bright economic future. A strong economy gives us the foundation for a better life. But the mission that drives this party is building a stronger society.
We are progressive Conservatives. Our goal is a fairer, safer, greener country where opportunity is more equal. It's because we are progressives that we will protect the NHS. We recognise its special place in our society so we will improve it for everyone.
It's because we are progressives that we will support aspiration so that people from every background, not just the rich, have the chance to get on in life. A pupil premium that gives the poorest children the chance to go to the best state schools. Welfare reform that helps those in long-term poverty move into long-term employment. Strengthening families with practical and financial help to give parents time with their children and keep couples together. We will fight back against the root causes of deprivation – drug addiction, alcoholism, indebtedness, failing prisons.
It's because we are progressives that we will support responsibility and strong families so we help mend our broken society and tackle the crime and misery it brings. A decade of big government and blunt, bureaucratic control has undermined responsibility and made our social problems worse, not better.
We are determined to forge a new direction. We will use the state to help remake society by encouraging people to take responsibility for themselves and for one another. We will provide new opportunities for community groups, neighbourhood organisations, charities, social enterprises to help rebuild our civil society. We will create incentives and use the best technology to encourage and enable people to come together, solve their problems together, make this society stronger together.
As we do this we will redistribute power from the political elite to the man and woman in the street.
Taken from a speech given on Saturday by the leader of the Conservatives