David Cameron put the promise of tax cuts at the heart of his bid to win the next General Election today as he pledged to “build a Britain that everyone is proud to call home”. Here are the nine key points to take away from his speech.
1. Cameron said if the Tories are re-elected they would raise the threshold at which people pay tax at 40 per cent from £41,900 to £50,000.
2. At the same time the party would also raise the amount people can earn before paying tax at all to £12,500 – the current full time minimum wage.
3. Cameron said raising the £10,000 current tax threshold to £12,500 would take one million of the lowest paid workers out of tax altogether and give an effective tax cut for 30 million more.
4. Cameron did not say when the tax cuts would take effect and insisted his priority was still to cut the deficit. But the move was a clear attempt to appeal to the so-called ‘squeezed middle’ who have seen their real term incomes fall significantly over the last five years.
5. Combined with George Osborne’s announcement on Monday that the Conservatives would freeze tax credits for two years the Tory strategy is an attempt to make a clear ideological divide with Labour – between cutting taxes or providing top-up support for low paid workers through benefits.
6. Mr Cameron also announced that if the Conservatives are re-elected they would scrap Labour’s Human Rights Act and introduce a new British Bill of Rights.
7. Mr Cameron directly took on the Tories Achilles heel of the NHS, attacking Labour for “scaremongering and lies” over its claims that the Government is privatising the health service and cutting its funding.
8. Mr Cameron did not spend long talking about the threat of Ukip following a string of recent defections but made clear he believed that a vote for Ukip could deny the Tories an outright majority at the next election. "Next May you can go to bed with Nigel Farage and wake up with Ed Milband,” he said to laughs from the conference audience.
9. Mr Cameron also touched on the threat of Isis at the start of his speech and issued a stark message to young British jihadists who go to fight in Syria and Iraq for Isis, saying they could not expect to return to a normal life in Britain. “You are an enemy of the UK,” he said. “And should expect to be treated such.”