30 September 2014
David Cameron defends a benefits freeze which will affect more than twice as many working families as workless families.
David Cameron says a future Conservative government would cut taxes for thirty million people as he delivers his party conference speech.
24 September 2014
A government source says the public should not "expect fireworks" as the UK prepares to join the US and other nations in air strikes against Islamic State.
BBC News website reader: I'm positive about the changes to tax - especially the 40% band. At last, the law-abiding hard-working middle are being recognised! Now let's please review stamp duty.
BBC News website reader: Being offered future tax cuts on the condition of economic recovery by a party that missed their own growth and deficit targets is hardly encouraging. Specific on the offers, vague on the means to achieve these offers.
Lee Sanders, Chichester: Mr Cameron, can't buy my vote back with a pledge to increase the 40% tax bracket to 50k after what you did to middle earners and families on the child benefit.
tweets: As a piece of political writing, that was the best speech Cameron has done. Clear, well written and cleverly constructed.
Anna, Northumberland: Good, inspiring, motivating speech. He's got my vote and my help in canvassing for the first time.
Tweets: Ed Balls attacks Cameron's #cpc14 tax cuts as "pie in the sky promises" for not being costed - but interestingly doesn't rule out matching.
tweets: Cameron says will scrap Human Rights Act and replace with British Bill of Rights. Does not say will quit European Convention on Human Rights.
tweets: As with Osbo's big raid on working poor, I wonder if Tories getting just a bit cocky with this dubiously funded (upper) mid class tax cut.
tweets: Missing from Cameron speech - any reference to (1) Boris Johnson (2) Nick Clegg and the @LibDems #CPC14
tweets: Cameron's best speech to conference since entering Downing St. Tone varied wildly, but good bits v good indeed.
tweets: Things Cameron didn't mention, though he had a script: bedroom tax, food banks and A&E closures. Don't expect hounding from media on this.
There was a second Olympic champion in the Conservatives' midst this conference. James Cracknell - double Olympic rowing gold medallist - was in the audience for David Cameron's speech. Mr Cracknell is hoping to stand as a Conservative candidate at the general election. Yesterday, Olympic cycling champion Rebecca Pendleton made a speech to party activists on the importance of school sport.
Frances O'Grady, general secretary of the Trades Union Congress, says the speech marks an "RIP to compassionate conservatism". "No amount of dressing up can hide the fact that the policies in this speech pass by those who need the most help to reward richer voters" she says.
tweets: David Cameron accidentally says he "resents" the poor. But it'd explain his cuts to benefits for workers, disabled and unemployed people.
tweets: @OllyGrender well it does seem increasingly plausible that the only person who won't change jobs in the next five years is Nick Clegg.
Remy Osman, Buckinghamshire: Just starting my career and Cameron's speech has convinced me a Tory government will support me to keep more of my salary and buy a house.
writes: Michael Fallon confirms UK defence budget safe for now. The defence secretary says that Britain will continue to spend 2% of GDP on defence and attacks Labour's "terrible legacy". Read more
Martin Carter, Winchester: David Cameron certainly more prime ministerial than Ed Miliband's debacle last week. I'll have no qualms voting Tory next year.
Some more reaction to the tax cuts set out by David Cameron in his final party conference speech before the election. Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, says: "This was a positive speech for taxpayers, with tax cuts for the lowest paid and long-overdue relief for ordinary people being clobbered by the higher rate of tax. Leaving more of people's money in their own pockets is not just morally right, but the best way to promote economic growth and long-term prosperity." Mr Isaby argues that the next step should be to bring National Insurance thresholds in line with income tax to take the lowest paid out of tax altogether.
BBC News website reader: Shot a lot of Labour and UKIP foxes in that speech. I listened on the radio and could hear the genuine passion in his voice. I felt that I was hearing the real man behind the smooth persona, and it was refreshing.
David Holt, Margate. Kent: As a lifelong Labour supporter who lives in Margate I'd like to thank the prime minister for showing me a third way of supporting Ed Miliband by voting for Nigel Farage. My Labour vote is wasted in North Thanet! But thanks to David Cameron I now know my vote can now be effective thank you.
Chris Tuck: What a difference from last week's leaders speech. Coherent, sensible, planned and delivered with emotion. Without the predictable rhetoric of class war.
BBC News website reader: Cameron can stamp his foot and have a strop with his party faithful re our NHS. It cuts no mustard with voters.
Liberal Democrat Treasury Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander accuses the Conservatives of a "shameless attempt" to copy his party's policy on the personal tax allowance. He claims the Conservatives' plan for government is based solely on spending cuts that will most affect the working-age poor. The Lib Dems, however, would fund tax cuts "fairly" and ask those with the "broadest shoulders" to pay more, he says.
tweets: 800,000 tax payers will be taken out of higher rate tax band say Tory sources #cpc14
The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) welcomes pledges to maintain low corporation tax rates - but calls for further reductions in business rates. While applauding the PM's focus on addressing the UK's housing shortage, the BCC says governments need to be more ambitious and support private sector construction of at least 200,000 new homes per annum. Low corporation taxes are also welcomed by the Confederation of British Industry as a "positive signal to business". The organisation notes David Cameron's "commitment to a long-term economic plan for a successful Britain" - but stresses how "vital" access to the EU single market is for UK businesses.
tweets: 'Unlike some, I prefer to keep private conversations private,' says Gove on #WATO. Do hope he's not dissing the PM.
According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies' Paul Johnson, the combined cost of tax cuts promised by David Cameron under a Conservative government would be £7bn a year by 2020. Mr Johnson says that "even without tax giveaways plans to cut deficit down will require really extraordinary spending cuts" and adds that it will be "very important to understand how this is paid for".
Asked about the defections to UKIP, Chief Whip Michael Gove says "he cannot see into the souls" of his fellow MPs and if people are "determined to be deceitful" there is little that he can do about it. He accuses Mark Reckless of "dishonouring" commitments he made to be in Birmingham and campaign for the party in Clacton. But he says he believes all remaining Tory MPs are "fantastically decent".
Tweets: "Cameron is right to focus on 'me in Downing St or Ed Miliband in Downing St'. Even now he is the Tory party's most valuable single asset."
Tweets: "Best speech PM's given. Spelt out clear plan for next 5 years. Contrast with last week couldn't be starker".
Michael Gove is doing the rounds after his leader's speech. He tells the World at One that he disagrees with his former adviser Dominic Cummings, who has claimed that the prime minister previously said there was "no money" for such tax cuts. He says the tax plans "send a very powerful signal" that the Conservatives will enable hard-working people to keep more of their own money.
In other news, the UK's nomination for the next European Commission, Lord Hill, is facing a pre-confirmation hearing in the European Parliament. He is being scrutinised by MEPs from the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee on the financial services portfolio he has been given by Commission President-elect Jean-Claude Juncker.
The proposal to raise the personal allowance to £12,500 will cost £7bn, the Institute for Fiscal Studies says. The think tank's director Paul Johnson tells the BBC it is a "big cost" - more than double the amount of welfare savings announced by George Osborne earlier this week.
The speech was highly personal. The prime minister was almost saying: "You may not like me or my party but you have a simple choice between me and Ed Miliband." The Conservatives think this is a winning message.
Richard, Worksop: Well I'm nailing my vote to the Tory flag pole, well delivered helpful to me and my family - I live in a labour fortress though so won't make a difference.
Julie in Kent: Great speech but what about the people in their forties who lost their homes the last time Tories were in and negative equity was one of the most used phrases ever, and have never recovered. They don't qualify for all these first time buyer schemes and are looking only at becoming 'rest of life renters!' What are the Tories doing to help this group?
Conservative chief whip Michael Gove tells BBC Daily Politics that David Cameron's pledge to raise the 40p income rate tax threshold will cost "just under £2bn". He confirms that the announced tax cuts would not take place until the books are balanced. Andrew Neil raises Conservative MP defections to UKIP, and asks Mr Gove why he is "so useless" at his job. In an entertaining exchange, Mr Gove says he tries his best, to which Mr Neil suggests "Your best is not good enough". "Well that's what my mother's always told tell me," Mr Gove responds. He says once someone decides "in their heart" they are going to leave a political party or an organisation it is hard to stop them.
tweets: Cameron's speech = classic Tory Coke - sound money, tax cuts, a fight with Europe. The question - has Britain got the taste for it?
UKIP leader Nigel Farage says: "None of David Cameron's promises are achievable without fundamental treaty change. Is that what he is now suggesting?"
Just a recap of the main points from the PM's speech. He promised to raise the point at which people start paying income tax to earnings of £12,500 a year and to increase the threshold for higher-rate income tax to £50,000. He also pledged not to cut NHS funding in England between 2015 and 2020, and to abolish exclusive zero-hours contracts.
Chris, Notts: Cameron looks very strong today, he made Miliband look like a fool.
BBC News website reader: I like the idea of that tax cut, but how on earth is it going to be paid for?
Conservative Chief Whip Michael Gove tells Andrew Neil that he is not going to say "what is in each progressive Budget", but that the promises made by David Cameron in his speech will be fulfilled by 2020.
BBC News website reader: Liked Cameron's speech! Sounded good. Still need to know how it gets funded, economic growth?
Ben from Gloucestershire: How about some balance? I, like millions of others, see through Cameron's predictable party conference rhetoric. Not remarkable, predictable.
BBC political editor Nick Robinson says the speech was a "classic Tory" one, arguing for tax cuts and a fight with Europe. But he also notes that Labour will immediately ask: "Where is this cash coming from?"
Chris, in Lancashire: Whatever your political views, you have to say that speech was brilliant.
tweets: On style, Cam gave Mili a lecture on how a podium and autocue can trump walking and forgetting. On substance, however...
David Cameron leaves the stage to the sound of Don't Stop by Fleetwood Mac - a song much-heard at Bill Clinton campaign rallies in 1992.
Reaching his finale, David Cameron says: "Let's not go back to square one. Let's finish what we have begun. Let's build a Britain we are proud to call home, for you, for your family, for everyone." He receives a standing ovation from the crowd, and is joined by his wife Samantha on stage.
In an emotional plea to voters, David Cameron says he does not claim to be a "perfect leader". I'm your public servant standing here wanting to make our country so much better for your children and mine, he says. Mr Cameron expresses his love for the country and insists he has the track record and the right team to secure a better future for the country.
We are making Britain proud again, David Cameron says of the Conservatives. He say exports to China are doubling, with manufacturing booming, record levels of employment and the country taking a lead on climate change. All the hard work is finally paying off and the light is coming up after some long, dark days, the prime minister adds.
David Cameron says there is only one real choice - the Conservatives or Labour. A vote for UKIP is a vote for Labour, he adds. On 7 May you could "go to bed with Nigel Farage and wake up with Ed Miliband", the PM warns.
Here is the breakdown of how the government allocated funds to healthcare services in the 2012-13 calendar year, via the BBC's Nick Triggle.
David Cameron pledges a new British Bill of Rights under a future Conservative government, and the abolition of Labour's Human Rights Act.
Here are the official statistics on international migration since 1995.
David Cameron recaps on his vision for a future Britain - where reward will follow effort and if you put in you get out. But it must also be strong in the world and control its own destiny, he adds, and makes reference to immigration. Mr Cameron says this will be at the very heart of his EU renegotiation strategy. He pledges that he will "not take no for an answer" on free movement. Anyone who thinks he can't achieve this should judge him by his record, he tells activists - pointing out that he secured the first ever EU budget cut. Only the Conservatives can offer the answer on Europe, and deliver the in/out referendum, he adds.
BBC News website reader: Wow a tax cut for middle income earners. I must be dreaming. Now that would make a huge difference
tweets: Got me. Well deserved standing ovation for Cameron saying, How dare Labour frighten people about his intentions on the NHS.
Here are the official figures on unemployment and claimants of Jobseeker's Allowance since 1992.
David Cameron has promised to cut the deficit and achieve a government surplus. Here is the official projection for the next five years.
tweets: Huge emotion from Cameron on the NHS there. Remarkable moment.
David Cameron promises to ring-fence the NHS budget from government spending cuts over the course of the next parliament, if the Conservatives win power. He says this is only made possible because of the government's economic management. Labour will "never understand" that you can only have a strong NHS if you have a strong economy, he adds. Remember, health care is a devolved matter in the UK, so these proposals are for the NHS in England.
David Cameron accuses Labour of spreading "lies" about the NHS - and says Labour is the party of the scandal of Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust. He recalls his experience of the health service with his late son, Ivan, and tells conference: "How dare they suggest I would ever put that at risk for other people's children." The party rises to its feet in support.
David Cameron hails the government's pensions reforms, which meets with applause from party activists.
tweets: Raising the higher rate threshold to £50,000 would cost around £5.5bn. So this tax package has a total cost of approx £17.5bn.
David Cameron praises the National Citizens' Service - and pledges that a future Conservative government would guarantee a place on the scheme for every teenage in the country.
Some more Labour attack from David Cameron - as he criticises the party's links with the unions. He says the Conservatives are the trade union for ordinary hard-working people and families.
tweets: This is a really good speech. Unless you viscerally hate Cameron and the Tories in which case nothing he could say would change you.
@Brynleydm tweets: @BBCLouise @BBCPolitics Cameron speech full of what no mention of how
David Cameron tells activists the education system has improved significantly thanks to the Conservatives' education reforms - "with teachers who feel like leaders again". But Labour would risk all this, he claims. He attacks shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt, who he claims is trying to restrict the educational advantages he had has a child - whereas "I want to spread them to every child" in the country.
David Cameron turns to housing. He says planning reforms and the Help to Buy scheme have boosted housing supply and helped first-time buyers to get on to the housing ladder. Labour was wrong to oppose these policies, the PM adds. He reiterates the Conservatives' plan for 100,000 new starter homes for first-time buyers under the age of 40 at 20% off the market value. The Conservatives are the party of home ownership once again, Mr Cameron declares.
tweets: Cameron conference audience feeling 'At last, a proper tax cut for those on middle incomes!'
David Cameron goes on the attack now - criticising Ed Miliband for forgetting to mention the deficit in his speech. In a conciliatory note, Mr Cameron says people forget car keys and that he even forget his child in a pub (queue an apology to his wife, Samantha, in the audience). But you cannot be prime minister of this country if you forget to mention the most important issue it faces, he adds.
tweets: Cameron takes aim at Nick Clegg's fox
Let the message go out that under the Conservatives, if you work hard and do the right thing, we say you should keep all of your own money to spend as you choose, David Cameron tells conference.
Another tax announcement - David Cameron says far too many people have been dragged into the 40% tax rate - and pledges to bring back "fairness" to tax system. He says a future Tory government would raise the threshold from £41,900 to £50,00.
David Cameron says raising the income tax threshold to £12,500 will take one million more people out of income tax, and give a tax cut to 30 million people. Those on the minimum wage working 30 hours a week or more will pay "zilch" in income tax, he says to applause.
A future Conservative government will raise the tax free personal allowance from £10,500 to £12,500, David Cameron pledges.
We need tax cuts for hard working people, David Cameron tells activists.
David Cameron says he wants working people to be able to take home more of their money. He cites previous action, including raises in the personal income tax allowance - which has taken three million people out of the income tax system altogether: a tax cut for 25 million people, he adds. The PM tells conference he wants to go further - but says it will only be possible by reducing the deficit, which requires a further £25bn of savings.
On tax avoidance, David Cameron adds that companies must "pay what you owe". Turning to welfare, he says the Conservatives will stick to their plan which is "working". He tells activists that 800,00 fewer people are on the main out-of-work benefits thanks to the Conservatives' welfare reforms. He reiterates policy announcements made this week, including more apprenticeships and a lower benefits cap. The Conservatives are the real party of compassion on social justice, Mr Cameron adds.
David Cameron pledges that a future Conservative government will have the lowest corporate taxes in the G20.
David Cameron sets out Conservative commitments for the next five years, including more jobs, help to buy homes, lower taxes - but says these are only possible if the government sticks to its long-term economic plan.
The prime minister says the past four years of government have been about "laying the foundations" for Britain's future growth by steering the economy to recovery - but that the next five years will be about improving people's living standards. It's about "you, and your family - and helping you to get on", he adds. But he warns that nothing comes easy - and says the British public know this.
I believe in something for something, not something for nothing, David Cameron tells conference. He stresses his deep patriotism and desire to make Britain a place that everyone is proud to call home. This is not just about making the lines on the graph go in the right direction - it is about helping people to live better lives, he adds. A country that rewards hard work, "not a free-for-all, but a chance for all".
David Cameron says he wants to secure a working majority at the general election, telling conference that entering into coalition with the Lib Dems was not what he wanted to do but what he had to do. He's now setting out his vision for Britain's future.
David Cameron says he has one more task for William Hague - to ensure "fairness" in the UK's constitutional settlement. He says further devolved powers for Scotland must be matched by greater English devolution - and vows English votes for English laws.
They are both often named as future leaders. Who did best?
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Is the impact of the proposed freeze being overstated?
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Coverage of European election results and reaction