I absolutely agree with you that we should keep state interference to a minimum and enable people to get on with their lives. Also, to keep taxes as low as possible commensurate with providing reasonable public services. I would like to assure you that the Government has not lost sight of these traditional conservative values. That said, I believe that there is more to conservatism than this alone.
It is imperative to build a Britain in which everybody has the opportunity to make the most of their talents. The Prime Minister is right when he says that there are certain things that are indispensable to enable that opportunity - the hospitals in which we are born, the schools we attend, the safety of the streets on which we grow up - and he is committed to investing in these to level up across the country and I think he is right to do so.
It is also true that work must always pay. Society must be fair with everyone contributing their fair share. This was at the heart of the manifesto I stood on last year, which brought us an historic election victory.
It is worth stating the obvious, however: we are in exceptional times. Leaving people to get on with their lives in the midst of the greatest challenge faced in a generation would be the wrong thing to do. It is right the Chancellor introduced a package of measures to support people and businesses. This will is ultimately ensuring that businesses survive this crisis and is bolstering the economy in the long-term, ensuring that this country continues to have a bright future. Failing to respond to the pandemic with economic support was simply not an option.
I have to say, I am incredibly supportive of the call to "Build Back Better". This is vital for local communities, up and down the country. There are parts of the country that have been left behind for generations and while I believe in the free market, I also think that a green agenda can be the agent of economic renewal. It is right to build green jobs and industries of the future in UK’s industrial heartlands.
I do not believe that economic growth and respect for our planet are two opposites, I believe that they are both core conservative beliefs. The ten point plan will mobilise £12 billion of government investment to create and support up to 250,000 highly-skilled green jobs in the UK. A clear signal is being sent to industries across the British economy to invest in the UK and it is anticipated that this will spur over three times as much private sector investment by 2030.
This is an ambitious plan, but I believe that it has conservatism at its heart and a desire to invest in levelling up opportunity right across the country.