This is the most important election in a generation. Here are three big reasons why you can make a difference by voting Conservative. We have a track record of delivery, a vision for the future, and a plan to back that vision up.
First, the track record.
Five years ago Britain was teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. We'd gone through the deepest recession in peacetime history, millions of people were out of work, living standards were crushed while the deficit ballooned. Labour had bet the house on an overheating property market and out of control banking sector. In 2008 the gamble failed, and as that infamous note put it, by 2010 there was no money left.
In five years we've taken the difficult decisions we told people were necessary to turn this country around. That plan is working. There are now record numbers of people in work, living standards are rising as wages start to outpace inflation, the deficit has been halved as a share of the economy.
Labour want you to think my party believes that economic success depends on a few wealthy individuals at the top. But that's not what happened during this recovery. We've had a recovery not because the richest have done well, but because 2.3million people have found work over the last years, because 760,000 entrepreneurs have had the courage to start their own small businesses, creating jobs and prosperity from the bottom up, not the top down.
Of course the last few years have been tough for many people; Labour's Great Recession hit living standards hard. But that's precisely why we need to see our plan through.
That brings me onto my second reason for voting Conservative: our vision for the future.
We're not in politics just to clear up Labour's mess, but to build a Britain where you get out what you put in, where if you work hard to get the grades, where if you save up, if you put in the hours, you'll have the job, the home and the pay packet to show for it. This isn't about numbers on a spreadsheet, it's the pride of a young couple receiving the keys to their first home, the pensioner's peace of mind at knowing they'll have security in retirement, the self-confidence that returns when a parent leaves the job centre for the last time. That's what we're fighting for in this election and that is why we need your vote.
And we have a clear plan to deliver that Britain, which is my third reason for ticking the box marked Conservative.
For the best possible start in life, we'll make sure the NHS is there for when you need it. That means increasing health spending by the £8billion a year the NHS says it needs and delivering seven-day a week 8am-8pm GP access. At the same time, we'll protect the amount of money which follows each child into school, ensure a good primary school place for every child and lift the cap on student numbers so young people get the skills they need to succeed.
To help you secure your first job we'll support businesses to create three million more apprenticeships on top of the two million we've already delivered. We'll increase the amount you can earn tax-free to £12,500, meaning a tax-free Minimum Wage, and we'll ensure that welfare supports people into work rather than trapping them in dependency.
To give you economic security as you raise a family we'll extend the Right to Buy to housing association tenants, build 200,000 new starter homes for first-time buyers and provide 30 hours a week of free childcare to working parents of three to four year olds. To support family budgets we're committed to tackling the deficit by getting spending under control rather than by raising taxes, and we will not increase VAT, National Insurance or income tax.
Finally, we're committed to providing dignity in retirement and will deliver generous increases in the State Pension, cap the amount you can be charged for residential care and give you the freedom to spend your pension savings as you see fit.
That is our plan to secure a better future for Britain, but it all depends on one thing: a strong, healthy and growing economy. Only with a strong economy can we invest in our vital public services and the next generation of infrastructure our country needs. Only with a strong economy can businesses create the jobs and prosperity which will afford people a decent standard of living.
Yet an unstable and weak Labour government, propped up by the SNP would be a grave threat to the recovery this country's worked so hard to build. It would mean more borrowing, higher mortgage rates and higher taxes, a return to the very conditions which left our economy so vulnerable in the crash. In an uncertain world and with a crisis still brewing in the eurozone, we simply can't afford to take that risk. To head that risk off, to stay the course, to lay the foundations for future prosperity, vote Conservative.