David Cameron has warned of children facing a “legacy of debt” as he puts the economy at the centre of the Tory election campaign.
The Prime Minister set out the Conservatives’ economic election pitch with a promise to keep on cutting state spending – including £12bn from welfare costs- until the Government returns a surplus.
Mr Cameron used a speech in the East Midlands to promise his deficit reduction plan would not come at the cost of higher taxes, insisting Labour had to make clear if it would match the vow.
As well as deficit reduction, Mr Cameron said, the Tories would focus their election efforts on jobs, taxes, education, home ownership and on retirement.
The pitch, though, did not include a promise to tackle immigration or make an election priority of the NHS, although the PM insisted health funding would be safeguarded.
Mr Cameron said: “Nothing we want to achieve will be possible unless we eliminate our deficit and deal with our debts.
“The security of your family depends on the stability of our public finances. Your job, your home, the mortgage you pay, the schools your children go to, the hospital you go to when you’re ill, the streets we live on, the very stuff that makes life worthwhile in our country – all these things depend on sound public finances.
“We cannot overstate how important this is.
“If we fail to meet this national challenge, the writing is on the wall.”
More borrowing would mean higher debt interest payments, taking money away from services, the PM added. There would be higher taxes and a rise in interest rates “punishing home-owners, hurting businesses, losing jobs”.
“In short, economic chaos,” he said.
Asked about the absence of immigration from his key themes, Mr Cameron said: “These areas I am talking about are very directly related to people’s concerns about their lives and their security.
“It’s about people’s jobs, people’s taxes, the homes they want to buy, the schools they want to send their children to, and their retirement.”
The Prime Minister said he had already set out “the most radical set of actions that any government has ever contemplated in this country” to tackle European immigration through curbs on access to benefits.
Mr Cameron also insisted that the NHS was “at the heart of this commitment for Britain to live within her means”.
He added: “People can see a real track record, a real commitment and it’s at the heart of what we are saying.”
Speaking at a question-and-answer session in Stevenage, Labour leader Ed Miliband said that for Mr Cameron the NHS was the subject that “dare not speak its name”.
“The reason David Cameron and George Osborne have failed on the deficit is because they have failed on living standards,” he said.
“Unless we have higher wages and living standards, we won’t get the revenue to reduce the deficit.
“Their plan will keep failing on living standards and therefore keep failing on the deficit.
“And now they want to go even further: back to the 1930s on public spending.
“No wonder David Cameron has gone from saying the NHS were the three most important letters to him to the health service becoming the subject that dare not speak its name.”
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