Edward Leigh writes on ConservativeHome:
Introduction: A sorry state of affairs
Recently I was day-dreaming about what I might write on the subject of the first ten years of a Conservative government, if it happens, of course, and if I’m still around in 2020. So here goes, but just in case some eager Labour party researcher spots this, these are mine and no one else’s musings and they are only that!
Taking power for the first time in 13 years, the Conservative government had its work cut out. First of all we had the attitude that we wanted a society built on freedom, responsibility and aspiration. Our aim, our commitment was nothing less than balancing the budget during our mandate. With Public Sector Borrowing Requirement at £175 billion and the deficit running to £848.5bn as of January 2010, the financial outlook was bleak. Our deficit was equivalent to 59.9% of total national output and we were determined to undo the damage New Labour had inflicted on our economy and our communities. The main task facing our new government was how to neutralise the risk of both the IMF and Moody’s downgrading our AAA credit rating and the associated devaluation of sterling. Alistair Darling ignored the demands to cut more, and faster, and so it was up to the new chancellor to grab the bull by horns. It was never going to be easy, but with swift and decisive implementation of the right policies in the right places, we were confident that we could bring about a fundamental change in the way we spent taxpayers’ hard earned cash, and the way this country was governed for the better.
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