“As in 1981, our party once again faces the task of redefining our economy and reshaping our society. That is why I welcome the Chancellor’s proposals for small businesses, which are the backbone of our economy. A long-lasting recovery must have its foundations in the private sector, which is where jobs will come from. Jobs will come if we reward enterprise, endeavour and ambition, and if we have a step change in our approach to enterprise. We need to encourage a spirit of adventure. Without accepting that basic premise, we will not have people taking the risks that are essential to creating the next Vodafone, the next Dyson and the next lastminute.com.”
He also spoke from personal experience about why rewarding endeavour is the best way of promoting social mobility:
“Many Opposition Members say that having the state do less by focusing on getting people into work and building an economy based on rewarding endeavour will penalise the less well-off. They are wrong, and I should know. I grew up in very modest circumstances. My standing here in the Chamber is the result of the vision, care and support of a strong mother, who brought us up on her own and overcame numerous odds, and instilled in us character, discipline and the value of hard work. I do not believe that any state programme could achieve what she has. On the contrary, I would have been trapped in poverty, as millions are.
“At university I struggled to pay my rent. But for the generosity of my college, Somerville, I would have been thrown out. That could have been the end of my university education, and perhaps I would not have made it here, so I understand that we cannot leave people to the mercy of markets. For me, the crux of the Budget is that we should empower individuals, families and communities to make the most of their lives.”
“Small and medium-sized businesses are the mainstay of employment in South Ribble and the risk takers and innovators of our economy. These business people will certainly benefit from the measures outlined last week by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer and fellow north-west MP, through his freedom, growth and enterprise agenda, and thanks to the new Government’s regional growth fund, I am delighted that businesses in South Ribble will benefit to the tune of up to £5,000 per employee in national insurance contributions for the first 10 new employees.”
She also called for Government to “get off people’s backs”:
“Above all, the people of South Ribble wanted the Government off their backs and on their side. They believe that they know how to spend their hard-earned money better than any Government, and they voted for power to be handed back to the people. It is with great pride that I am in the House representing the people of South Ribble. I have vowed to put it on the map and to be South Ribble’s voice in Westminster, and not the Westminster voice in South Ribble.”