Theresa May’s Speech to Conference 2016

A Country That Works For Everyone – The Good that Government Can Do

  • Today the Prime Minister explained in more detail her vision of a country that works for everyone, not just the privileged few.
  • She set out the clear case for the good that government can do while stating that political visions need to be accompanied by hard work and practical implementation.
  • The referendum was not just a vote to leave the EU, it was something broader.
  • It was about a deep, justified sense for many people that the world works well for a privileged few, but not for them.
  • This is a genuine turning point in Britain’s history and it is for this party to respond in a way that meets the challenge.
  • While being proud of our achievements over the past six years, it is clear that more needs to done to put government at the service of ordinary working class people.
  • A new approach that accepts government does not have all the answers but that it can and should be a force for good, providing what individuals, communities and markets cannot. Where markets are dysfunctional, we should be prepared to intervene.

In practice that means things like:

  • Reforming corporate governance – to be announced later in the year – to ensure all businesses are run accountably and with long-term interest clearly in mind. We will publish our plans to have not just consumers represented on company boards, but workers as well.
  • A proper industrial strategy – identifying the industries that are of strategic value to our economy and supporting and promoting them through trade, tax, infrastructure, skills, training, and research and development policies.
  • Building more houses – meaning that more people have the opportunity to buy a home of their own and that less of the monthly family budget is poured into accommodation costs. On Monday we announced a new package of measures to get Britain building which include using more public sector land for housebuilding and further reforming the planning system so more houses can be built, more quickly.
  • Strengthening workers’ rights – as announced on Saturday, we’re going to review our laws to make sure that, in our modern and flexible economy, people are properly protected at work.
  • Bold new education reforms – so that every child has the chance to go to a good, local school and that they are not held back by where they live or how much money their parents have. The Government will end the ban on new grammar schools – as well as a range of other reforms to create more good school places.
  • Getting immigration under control – leaving the EU gives us an opportunity to control the numbers of people coming here from Europe and the Government will be consulting over the next few months on steps to reduce non-EU migration too across work and student visa routes.
  • Continuing to invest in our NHS – £10 billion extra over this Parliament, which is only possible because of the strong economic foundations we have built. We believe in public service. We believe in investing in and supporting the institutions that make our country great.
  • Protecting those who cannot work – we will end the mandatory retesting of work capability for those with chronic health conditions that not only induces stress but does nothing at all to help.