Got a TV Licence?

You need one to watch live TV on any channel or device, and BBC programmes on iPlayer. It’s the law.

Find out more
I don’t have a TV Licence.

Summary

  1. In his speech, Chancellor George Osborne promised to freeze working-age benefits for two years
  2. Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said the government was getting more people on the housing ladder
  3. Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith closed the day by saying welfare changes were making work pay

Live Reporting

By Pippa Simm, Victoria Park and Justin Parkinson

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Goodbye for now

That wraps up our live text coverage of today's proceedings at Conservative Party conference. You can watch the whole thing, highlights and George Osborne's keynote speech in full by clicking on the Key Video tab. And don't forget that Andrew Neil will bring us his round-up of events on BBC Two at 23:20 BST. If you don't fancy staying up that late, catch it on the Live Coverage tab above. See you again tomorrow, for the penultimate day of the conference.

Mark Easton, Home Editor for BBC News

@BBCMarkEaston

tweets: Two-thirds of those affected by proposed benefits freeze are in working households. @hmtreasury

Paper reaction

The Mirror

The Mirror is critical of George Osborne's plans to freeze benefits for working-age people, headlining that it will "push more people below the poverty line". The paper states that the chancellor's decision to reduce the welfare bill to contribute to a further £25bn of spending cuts in the next parliament "has provoked fury among those who feel working people on benefits are already struggling".

Paper reaction

The Guardian

The Guardian's Nicholas Watt writes: "Osborne's speech was designed to frame the Tories' two key pre-election messages on the economy. These are that the party has taken tough decisions to stabilise the economy in the current parliament to begin the process of eliminating the structural budget deficit. The second message is that only the Conservatives - which he sought to characterise as the party of a low-tax future - can eliminate the deficit and build on the economic recovery."

Paper reaction

The Daily Mail

The Daily Mail reports that 10 million families would lose £500 under George Osborne's plan to freeze working-age benefits for two years, if the Conservatives win the general election. The move by the chancellor is expected to save £3bn. The paper also says of Mr Osborne: "He paid tribute to the British public for enduring the hard years of austerity to fix the economy, but warned in total another £25bn in cuts is needed to balance the books, including a fresh squeeze on public sector pay."

Super Tuesday

It's been a day of announcements - with pledges to freeze working-age benefits for two years and to introduce pre-paid benefit cards for welfare claimants. Proceedings recommence at 10.30 BST on Tuesday. Those addressing the party include London Mayor Boris Johnson, Home Secretary Theresa May, Justice Secretary Chris Grayling and the secretaries of state for health and education - Jeremy Hunt and Nicky Morgan.

Rupert Oldham-Reid, Researcher at the Centre for Social Justice

@RupesOR

tweets: IDS plan to trial prepaid cards for ppl with an addiction to protect families. Idea outlined in @csjthinktank report Ambitious for Recovery

Opposing 'evil'

Impressing upon conference the importance of getting people to vote Conservative at the general election, Iain Duncan Smith says: "Tell them this: 'If you want to stay behind your doors, all that is required for the triumph of evil is that the good should do nothing - do not number yourself amongst them.'" His speech goes down well in the hall. That ends today's main conference business.

A standing ovation for Iain Duncan Smith's speech
BBC

Bright future?

George Osborne visited Jaguar Land Rover's new assembly plant in Solihull before his speech to conference.

George Osborne at Jaguar Land Rover"s new assembly plant in Solihull
PA

'Join the crusade'

Iain Duncan Smith's message to Conservatives is to go out "heads held high" and help to change Britain for the better. Knock on doors, tell the public about what we're doing, what we're offering, he counsels. And challenge your neighbours to come on board because "we are doing the right things for the right reasons" to secure the a better future for all. In an activist-rousing conclusion, he says: "'Join us,' you should say to them. 'Join us on that crusade because we care about our country,'" before adding: "Conference, it's time."

Iain Duncan Smith
BBC
'Your country needs you'

George Osborne

@George_Osborne

tweets: Have taken difficult decision to freeze working age benefits for 2 years to help Britain deal with our debts and secure the recovery

Robin Brant, BBC

@robindbrant

tweets: Tories level with labour in Ashcroft poll which was conducted over the weekend #CPC14

British jobs

Iain Duncan Smith says half the rise in employment under Labour was accounted for by foreign nationals, whereas over the last year 600,000 more British people are now in work under the current government. "Each and every one of those is a British life transformed," he adds.

Elephant outside the room

Anti-High Speed 2 protesters have been making their point known.

Elephant
Getty Images

Bad habits

Iain Duncan Smith says benefits should be spent on families and not on feeding "destructive" habits, such as alcohol or drug addiction.

BreakingBreaking News

A future Conservative government would introduce pre-paid benefits cards for welfare claimants to ensure they cannot spend their money on alcohol, drugs or gambling, Iain Duncan Smith announces.

Hello, Mr Mayor

Boris Johnson is in Birmingham ahead of his speech tomorrow.

Boris Johnson
Getty Images

The SNP

writes:

Osborne continues cuts attack on vulnerable. Chancellor George Osborne has today signed Scotland up to billions of pounds of spending cuts - including more cuts that will hit the least well off in society hardest.
Read more

BreakingBreaking News

Iain Duncan Smith announces that the roll-out of the Universal Credit scheme will be "accelerated".

'Cultural change'

Iain Duncan Smith insists the government is restoring fairness to "hard-working taxpayers" who fund the welfare bill. "This is cultural change worth fighting for," he tells the hall. He goes on to espouse the benefits of his flagship Universal Credit benefit system, which simplifies existing benefits into one.

Job centres

Iain Duncan Smith refers to government policies announced yesterday for three million extra apprenticeships for the young jobless, as part of efforts to eradicate youth unemployment. And he announces that job centres will work with pupils aged 15 or above who are at risk of falling out of education, employment or training, to support their aspirations and change their life prospects.

Get involved

Text: 61124

BBC News website reader in Kent: It's a wonder that people on benefits aren't required to paint a red cross on their front door.

Life change

Iain Duncan Smith hails his department's welfare reforms as a success, and says they have helped people "at the very margins of society" who have been "left behind for too long". For them it is about life change, he tells conference.

'Independence'

The work and pensions secretary says his department's welfare reforms are vital to the government's economic plan - setting people on a journey from "dependence to independence". Iain Duncan Smith says the proportion of workless households was at its highest for over a decade under Labour, but is now the lowest on record. He criticises Labour for "relentlessly" opposing the changes in favour of short-term politics.

Labour legacy

People should not forget the legacy bequeathed to the government by Labour, Iain Duncan Smith says. He characterises it as "social breakdown and financial meltdown". He says welfare bills "spiralled out of control", and by 2010 cost every household in Britain £3,000 extra a year to sustain Labour's "something-for-nothing culture".

'Back to work'

Commenting on the government's record, Iain Duncan Smith declares that Britain now stands on "a sound and stable footing" after being "crippled by Labour's great recession". He says the country has got "back to work", bringing security to families across the UK.

The Incredibles

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith has the platform - and pays tribute to his "incredible" team of ministers, advisers and departmental staff, and extends his congratulations to Lib Dem pensions minister Steve Webb.

Iain Duncan Smith
BBC

Rowena Mason, Political correspondent at The Guardian

@rowenamason

tweets: John Redwood having what looks like quite a cordial conversation with Michael Fallon outside conf centre despite EU biz warning reports

A talk then IDS

Time for a panel discussion now, led by employment minister Esther McVey. Iain Duncan Smith - the man who has been driving the government's welfare reforms - will be addressing conference in about 10 minutes.

Panel discussion with Employment Minister Esther McVey
BBC

Daniel Hannan MEP, Daily Mail

writes:

Only a Tory-Ukip deal can stop Labour winning power. Combined, the Conservative and Ukip vote comes to nearly half the national total. Yet, as things stand, Ed Miliband is likely to become Prime Minister with around 35 per cent support.
Read more

Georgia Graham, Political Correspondent, The Telegraph

writes:

White Dee: The Conservatives are out of touch, I could vote Ukip. The Benefit Streets star hits out at the Conservatives, "childish" Ed Miliband and says that Nigel Farage is clever not to talk about welfare policies.

Eric Pickles, Conservative MP

@EricPickles

tweets: Just announced that in last year 230,000 homes given planning permission in England #cpc14

High office

George Osborne
Getty Images

Thatcher

Eric Pickles says David Cameron is taking forward former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's "spirit of aspiration". He adds that he is proud of the Conservatives' record in government - but fears this could be "wiped out" by Labour if it wins the general election. "We will never forget the deficit," he says and concludes that together the Conservatives can build a Britain "that we can all be proud of".

Crate mates

Toy lizards loosely based on Boris Johnson are on sale at the conference.

Lizards
Reuters

On the ladder

Eric Pickles praises the government's Help to Buy and Right to Buy housing schemes - and announces that last year 230,000 homes received planning permission "in England alone". He pledges that the Conservatives will do more - and reiterates a commitment to help first-time home buyers, including with 100,000 new starter homes sold at 20% of the market rate. There will also be a rent to buy scheme to help young people to save the deposit to buy a new home.

Housing hailed

Eric Pickles says he is most proud of his department's achievements on housing, which he says have been the most difficult aspect of policy to deliver. He says the Conservatives were the first party to put home ownership "in the grasp" of people. Labour "just didn't think it mattered", he adds, noting that house-building fell to the lowest peace time level in the 1920s. He goes on to criticise Ed Miliband's plan for housing.

May's office buddy

Eric Pickles reveals his efficiency drive enabled the department to relocate to the Home Office's building, meaning he is now "hot-desking" with Theresa May to save taxpayers' £9m a year. "I'm sure she's very happy," he quips.

'People power'

Eric Pickles says his purpose in government has been to bring "real" power to the people, through policies such as council tax freezes, enabling councils to share services and management to cut costs, and reducing the size of government. He says his own department's workforce has been reduced by 60%.

'More money not the answer'

Eric Pickles says David Cameron is determined to deliver "fairness" to England, and all parts of the United Kingdom. It is not a surprise that Labour just doesn't get it, he adds, and accuses the previous government of trying to "palm off" the electorate with regional government. "Any solution that involves taxpayers funding more politicians is definitely not the answer."

Eric Picles
BBC