The first Conservative Budget in 19 years reveals who the real workers' party is.
This last election was the most important in a generation. The Coalition rescued Britain from the brink of bankruptcy and then presided over a jobs miracle. Labour risked throwing it all away.
In May, the country gave the Conservatives the chance to finish the job we started. This budget has made clear that we are committed to that goal: delivering an economy where everyone can get on, plan for their future, and look after their family.
We inherited a budget deficit of £154billion from Labour. By 2016, it will have been halved, but it still needs to come down. In this budget, the Chancellor has made clear he remains fully committed to this goal and by 2019, we will be running a surplus. This is the only responsible path. Only healthy public finances can make us resilient in an unstable world.
This is a budget for working people, pure and simple. It's what makes me so proud to be a Conservative.
That's why at the heart of this budget there's the introduction of a National Living Wage to replace the old minimum wage, a tax cut for middle earners and a further move to take the low-paid out of tax altogether.
Rewarding hard work is a central Conservative mission and today's budget couldn't show that better.
It's why in the last parliament we made sure that no one could earn more on welfare than hard-working people take home. It's why we let families keep more of their money at the end of the month. And it's why we cut taxes and red tape so businesses could create enough jobs and thrive. We believe in a Britain where if you pay in, you get something out.
The National Living Wage will start next April at £7.20 an hour and reach £9 by the end of the Parliament. Those on the current minimum wage will see a £5,000 cash increase. On top of this, the personal allowance will also be raised to £11,000 from April next year.
We are also making a start on our promise to raise the 40p tax threshold to £50,000 by 2020 by raising the threshold to £43,000 next year. This will take 130,000 people out of the higher tax rate.
At the same time we're cracking down on tax-avoiders, abolishing permanent Non-Dom status, making people earning over £40,000 pay the full market rent if they live in social housing, and getting more tax revenue out of banks by introducing the bank profit surcharge.
In the last Parliament our Long Term Economic Plan ensured that the British economy created two million jobs. Now, we'll create two million more and set the target for full employment.
How? By incentivising work and ensuring that work always pays more. That's why we're capping the maximum a household can receive in benefits at £20,000 outside London and £23,000 inside, down from £26,000.
When Labour complain that the government is being unfair in tackling excessive welfare they completely misread the mood of working people. Anyone working hard, saving for the future, paying off their mortgage or working towards that first deposit, welcomes the cap and our changes to welfare. This budget continues our work and make sure that work pays.
Failure to back this would be a betrayal of British workers. £20,000 untaxed income is the equivalent of £25,000 salary-almost the median household income. No one should earn more on benefits than in work and that's integral to the fairer Britain we are building. If you put in, then in a Conservative Britain, you will get out.
In their thirteen years in government Labour presided over a welfare system that trapped many in a cycle of dependency.
By announcing that housing benefit will be restricted for those under-25, by ensuring the most vulnerable are protected, we are making sure that no one will start their life on welfare. No one in their right mind would wish such a life on anyone, yet those on the opposition benches seem to want that life for our young people.
This budget sets the agenda for the next five years. Controlling spending, making work pay and helping families get on and plan for their futures. Britain is growing faster than any major economy. With the momentum that years of hard choices have yielded us, we are on the road to a better future.