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Conservative Conference 2015: We are the builders, Labour are the wreckers says George Osborne

Wearing the political hats of both Chancellor and potential future leader, George Osborne took to the stage at Manchester to tell a lively crowd: "We must be prepared for whatever the world throws at us." 

It was clear that this speech was as much about building his standing for 2020 as it was roads and infrastructure in the UK.George Osborne

Key Points

  • Reaching out to disillusioned Labour voters, Osborne said Conservatives should "extend our hand" to people who feel "completely abandoned" by the party’s leadership
  • The conservatives have created a "new centre ground" and were "the true party of labour"
  • A huge transfer of power to Local Councils in England. They will be able to set and keep hold of the business rates raised in their area amounting to £26bn. He said that money raised locally would be spent locally
  • Former Labour minister Lord Adonis is to lead a new infrastructure body, he will resign his Labour whip and become a crossbencher. The infrastructure commission will initially focus on London's transport system, connections between cities in the north of England, and updating the energy network - funded by selling off land, buildings and other government assets. It will start work immediately and will produce a report at the start of each five-year Parliament containing recommendations of projects
  • Shares worth £2bn in Lloyds Bank will be sold to private investors next spring
  • Pensioner benefits will be cut 'immediately'
  • And he said he would create British Wealth Funds to encourage local government pension funds to invest in infrastructure. 89 local authority pension funds in England and Wales are to be combined into six regional funds
  • An airport expansion decision will be made by Christmas
  • On tax credit cuts, Osborne said your average family on the minimum wage would be better off once other changes were taken into account
  • Representing a constituency near Manchester had convinced him of the need to increase investment in the North of England
  • George Osborne paid tribute to the leadership of David Cameron
  • Areas with elected mayors will have an additional power to raise money by increasing rates, he said. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have their own business rate systems
  • European leaders are not too preoccupied with the migrant crisis to consider the UK’s demands for EU reforms ahead of the referendum

A spokesman for Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: "We have heard it all before from Osborne and the Conservatives on infrastructure and their record is one of complete failure to deliver."

 

 

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