Tuesday, 27 September 2011

George Osborne plans cuts in corporation tax for the banks.

It’s the wrong choice.

Now some of you would like no fees at all.

I understand that.

But it wouldn’t be responsible to make promises I can’t keep.

That’s Nick Clegg’s job.

Let me tell you what I would do.

If we were in government now, we’d be cutting the costs of going to university from a maximum of £9,000 to £6,000.

To the young people who want to get on and contribute to our country my message is simple.

I won’t let you be priced out of your future.

Labour is on your side.

We can’t afford to carry on with so many young people locked out of opportunity.

Three thousand of our brightest young people, at state schools, get the grades to go to our most competitive universities.

But they never go.

That can’t be right.

It creates a sense that there is no something for something deal.

I went to a fantastic local school.

It was a tough area but it was a school that changed lives.

But the truth is that the problem in some of our schools is not just investment.

It’s also about values.

Of bright children held back when aspirations are low.

Or when closed circles at the top of society shut them out.

In any one year more than a quarter of our schools don’t even send five kids to the most competitive universities.

Is anyone seriously telling me that there aren’t pupils at any of those schools who are good enough to go?

It’s got to change.

And we will change it.

Here is my challenge to those schools and universities.

Raise your game.

To the schools not doing enough I say:

Lift your ambition, lift your sights.

To the universities not opening up I say:

Open your eyes, open your doors.

Say to the very brightest children at every school: if you get the grades, you’ll get a place.

And it’s not just in our schools that I want to change the values that get rewarded.

It’s right across society.

The new bargain must demand responsibility from all.

We’ve got to put an end to the idea that those at the top can take whatever they can, regardless of what they give back.

It’s why we must end the cosy cartels of the way top pay is set in our economy.

So every pay committee should have an employee on the board.

And the something for something deal requires that sacrifice as well as prosperity is fairly shared.

Have you noticed how uncomfortable David Cameron is when he has to talk about responsibility at the very top?

He found it easy to be tough on you.

VAT went up.

He called it a tough decision.

Tax credits were cut.

He said they couldn’t be afforded.

Help paying for childcare was hit.

He said it was the only thing he could do.

When you have had to pay, it’s always necessary, it’s always permanent, it can never be reversed.

And yet at the same time they are straining at the leash to cut the 50p tax rate for people earning over £3,000 a week.

Only David Cameron could believe that you make ordinary families work harder by making them poorer and you make the rich work harder by making them richer.

It’s wrong.

It’s the wrong priority.

It’s based on the wrong values.

How dare they say we’re all in it together.

So we need a new bargain at the top of society, and in our benefits system too.

So it rewards the right people with the right values.

But it isn’t delivering that.

And we’ve got to fix it.

If you think putting it right means just stripping away welfare then you are better off with Iain Duncan Smith and David Cameron.

But at the same time we have to face the truth.

Even after reforms of recent years, we still have a system where reward for work is not high enough.

Where benefits are too easy to come by for those who don’t deserve them and too low for those who do.

So if what you want is a welfare system that works for working people then I’m prepared to take the tough decisions to make that a reality.

Take social housing.

When we have a housing shortage, choices have to be made.

Do we treat the person who contributes to their community the same as the person who doesn’t?

My answer is no.

Our first duty should be to help the person who shows responsibility.

And I say every council should recognise the contribution that people are making.

David Cameron likes to talk tough on welfare, but do you know who the big losers are from his changes?

Time and again it’s those who work hard, who try to get on.

It’s the cancer patients who have worked all their lives but now lose their support.

It’s the couple who have put money aside and saved, but now lose their tax credits.

And it is the single mum working as a dinner lady who loses help with her childcare.

It’s wrong.

And we have got to change it.

And while those who do the right thing are hit hard, the demands on those who don’t work aren’t tough enough.

Gone is the something for something requirement that every young person out of work for six months will be required to work.

This Government won’t make the commitment to help our young people back to work.

It’s wrong and we would change it.

Decency, fairness, helping those who do the right thing.

I believe in a benefits system with values.

And I believe in the value of work.


Think about that word.

The party of work.

Now under my leadership, we will be the party which makes welfare work too.

And it’s not just in our benefits system that I want to change the way government works.

It’s in our public services as well.

Millions of public servants deliver a fantastic service every day of every week.

But we all know that sometimes powerful organisations can become unaccountable.

Work not in the interests of those who need them but in their own interests.

That's what vested interests are.

My task, our responsibility, is to make government work better for people.

The patient frustrated when they can’t be seen by the person they want.

The victim of crime who just wants their case properly investigated.

You know what it’s like.

You stand in the queue.

You hang on the phone.

You fill in the form.

And then all you get?

Computer says no.

We need to change that.

To give power to the public.

Like the power to the elderly couple to choose whether they are cared for in a care home or in their own home.

Or the parents I know struggling with their council on their child’s special needs who want to know who else is facing the same challenges.

So I will take on the vested interests wherever they are because that is how we defend the public interest.

And there is no greater public interest than our National Health Service.

Cherished by all of us.

Founded by Labour.

Saved by Labour.

Today defended by Labour once again.

Why does Britain care so much for the NHS?

Because, more than any other institution in our country, the values of the NHS are our values.

It doesn’t matter who you are.

Or what you earn.

The NHS offers the highest quality care when we need it.

I saw it this year with the birth of our son, Sam.

Like millions of other families, mine had the best of care from doctors, nurses.

And nobody asked me for my credit card at the door.

And when I look at everything this Tory Government is doing, it is the NHS that shocks me most.


Because David Cameron told us he was different.

You remember.

The posters.

The soundbites.

David Cameron knew the British people did not trust the Tories with our NHS.

So he told us he wasn’t the usual type of Tory.

And he asked for your trust.

And then he got into Downing Street.

And within a year – within a year – he’d gone back on every word he’d said.

No more top-down reorganisations?

He betrayed your trust.

No more hospital closures?

He betrayed your trust.

No more long waits?

He betrayed your trust.

And the biggest betrayal of all?

The values of the NHS.

Britain’s values.

The values he promised to protect.


Hospitals to be fined millions of pounds if they break the rules of David Cameron’s free-market healthcare system.

The old values that have failed our economy now being imported to our most prized institution: the NHS.

Let me tell David Cameron this.

It’s the oldest truth in politics.

He knows it and now the public know it.

You can’t trust the Tories with the NHS.

And let me tell the British people:

If you want someone who will rip up the old rules so that the country works for you, don’t expect it from this Prime Minister.

On the 50p tax rate, on the banks, on the closed circles of Britain, on welfare, on the NHS, he’s not about a new set of rules.

He’s the last gasp of the old rules.

The wrong values for our country and the wrong values for our time.

You know Britain needs to change.

Every day of your life seems like a tough fight.

To make ends meet.

To do the best by your kids.

To look after your Mum or Dad.

And it will be a tough fight to change Britain.

But I’m up for the fight.

The fight for a new bargain.

A new bargain in our economy so reward is linked to effort.

A new bargain based on your values so we can pay our way in the world.

A new bargain to ensure responsibility from top to bottom.

And a new bargain to break open the closed circles, and break up vested interests, that hold our country back.

I aspire to be your Prime Minister not for more of the same.

But to write a new chapter in our country’s history.

The promise of Britain lies in its people.

The tragedy of Britain is that it is not being met.

My mission.

Our mission.

To fulfil the promise of each so we fulfil the promise of Britain.