POLITICS

David Cameron's Six Election Priorities Have Seemingly Annoyed Everyone

12/01/2015 11:19 GMT | Updated 12/01/2015 15:59 GMT
Peter Byrne/PA Wire
Prime Minister David Cameron delivers a speech to business leaders at a conference in the Old Granada TV Studios in Manchester.

David Cameron has set out his priorities as the general election draws near, but seems to have to upset both sides of the political divide in the process.

The Prime Minister's speech on Monday, urging voters not to pass on a "legacy of debt" to their children and grandchildren by voting Labour, is the first in a series of addresses on the themes of the deficit, jobs, taxes, education, housing and retirement.

However, Labour has already attacked the Tories for not including the NHS in his six key themes, despite saying in 2010 that it would be his "number one priority".

Labour Treasury spokesman Chris Leslie said: "After a week when we've seen a Tory NHS crisis worsening day after day, it's a staggering omission by David Cameron to fail to make the NHS one of his six themes.

At the same time the Daily Mail has lamented the fact that immigration is not a "key election issue" for Cameron's Tories in the run up to May, "despite it being voters' top concern".

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Others have noted a wide variety of themes left out of Cameron's main six topics, including Europe, the environment and young people.

Cameron used his speech to boast of the Tories' plans to eliminate the state deficit by 2018, and warn of the impact of voting Labour, telling voters that backing Ed Miliband risked passing on "a mountain of debt to the next generations that they could never hope to re-pay".

"To every mother, father, grandparent, uncle, aunt, I would ask this question," Cameron said.

"When you look at the children you love, do you want to land them with a legacy of huge debts? Do you want to limit their future, to make life more difficult for their generation, because we refuse to do the right thing in our generation?

"I say we have a responsibility to act. We can get Britain back to living within our means in a way that is fair and sensible and secure."

And he warned that "the writing is on the wall" for Britain if it fails to deal with its debts, with the prospect of higher taxes, higher interest rates and less money to spend on public services like hospitals and schools.

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Tories said that the Prime Minister was "right to focus on economy", however Miliband accused Cameron of "plucking figures out of the air" and said Labour would eliminate the deficit by "common sense" spending cuts and tax rises targeted on the rich.

Cameron indicated that Tory plans in other areas like the NHS depend on dealing with the deficit, saying: "It's election year, and the choice is clear: staying on the road to recovery or choosing the path to ruin. Competence or chaos.

"With the other parties, all you get is confusion. Uncosted plans. The spectre of more debt. The shadow of more taxes on your family, your home, your business.

"With the Conservatives, you get the opposite. A strong and competent team, a proven record and a long-term economic plan that is turning our country around."

He added: "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 - and all the extra debt interest that brings, meaning there is less money to spend on schools and hospitals and all the things we value as a country.

"More spending, and the higher taxes that will require - hard-working people thumped to pay for Government wastefulness.

"And higher interest rates too - punishing homeowners, hurting businesses, losing jobs. In short, economic chaos."