The Chancellor, George Osborne, opened the Spending Review yesterday with a declaration that it delivers on the Conservative commitment to the British people, to put their security first.
Since the 2010 election, we've been clear that the foundation of security for every family in Britain - both physically and financially - is a strong economy.
Every job, every child's education, every operation in the NHS, every support we can give business - it all depends on the health of our economy.
By taking difficult decisions, we've turned things around. After five years spent clearing up Labour's mess, I'm proud that we're now in a position to focus on rebuilding Britain and creating a brighter future for everyone in it.
Already we have the fastest-growing economy in the G7, and our debt and our deficit are falling. With one million new jobs forecast by 2020, it's clear we're on the right track. But there is still more to do to ensure we leave the next generation with a stronger Britain than the one we inherited. A Britain where work pays, where all children get an excellent education, and where everyone who works hard has the opportunity to own their own home.
This means building up our finances, our defences, and our society so that we become the most prosperous and secure nation in the world. And that is exactly what this Spending Review is about.
The public spending plans laid out by the Chancellor are forecast to deliver a £10billion surplus - bringing Britain out of the red and into the black. But our plans are about more than just balancing the books. I'm proud that we're also investing in the vital things my constituents repeatedly tell me matter to them-their health, their safety, their children's education, their home.
I'm sure everyone will agree that it's welcome news that we're giving the NHS the money it needs to fund its plan for the future and make crucial improvements for patients. This means new hospitals, hundreds of thousands more hospital admissions, millions more outpatient appointments, new research, £600million additional funding for mental health, a Dementia Institute, cancer testing within four weeks, and much more.
On security, we're protecting our national interests abroad while keeping our people safe at home. In spite of what Labour MPs may have led you to believe, the police budget is not being cut. Not at all. The Chancellor made clear yesterday that this Government is protecting those who keep us safe and we'll continue to spend 2% of our national income on defence.
I am delighted we're protecting the schools budget and opening hundreds of new free schools. Academies and free schools are engines of social mobility and George Osborne's bold commitment to a new national funding formula will transform children's life chances, ironing out unfair regional variations. On top of this, we're maintaining funding for free infant school meals, and investing £23billion in school buildings and new school places so more children get a good start in life.
It is also tremendous news that we're taking action to help those people who aspire to own their own home. Almost half of the 400,000 affordable homes the Chancellor has committed to building will be Starter Homes for first time buyers, and 135,000 will be available on the new Help to Buy shared ownership scheme. This is the biggest house building programme since the 1970s.
We're a world away from where we were five or six years ago and that's due to the difficult decisions this Government has taken. The next five years will not be easy, but the events in Greece and the Eurozone have shown what happens when countries don't get their house in order. The Chancellor's plans for Britain signal not only the Government's ability to deliver economic and national security, but also a renewed commitment to building the kind of society where everyone can fulfil their potential, no matter where they start in life.
Alan Mak is the Conservative MP for HavantSuggest a correction