Gordon Brown: If we summon our resolve, 2010 can be a year of British renewal

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The Independent Online

My first priority is securing that recovery. The second is radical improvement and reform of our public services, 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 in Afghanistan and across the wider world. Even as we take the tough decisions to halve the deficit, we can still invest in Britain's future. I say this because 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.

And we will continue our relentless reform of public services to ensure they always deliver the best for you and your family – not uniform services, but personal services, tailored to your need and your aspirations. So whether creating a national care service for the elderly, giving a guarantee of early cancer diagnosis or driving up standards in primary schools with more one-to-one tuition and compulsory modern languages, we will always ensure you get the individual, excellent services you need to make the most of life.

I know those who work hard every day for everything they get were rightly appalled at some of the abuse of MPs' expenses. I'm determined that this year we will renew faith in our democracy with constitutional reform. At the G20 Britain was able to negotiate a worldwide deal that secured British jobs. That was a direct result of the Government choosing internationalism over isolationism – and it is this strategy that means we are also able to cooperate with President Obama on non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, and with our European neighbours and others on defeating catastrophic climate change.

This is an extract from the Prime Minister's new year message