Today is a major moment in Britain’s recovery.

New figures from the Office of National Statistics show that employment is up, wages are up, and hardworking families are more financially secure:

  • 1.75m more people in work since 2010 – that’s 1.75m more people with the security of a pay packet to provide for themselves and their families
  • Wages up by 1.6% over the last year – that’s faster than inflation and shows that people have more money in their pockets
  • Full-time jobs accounted for 95% of the rise in employment over the past year, while two-thirds of all new jobs since 2010 have been in higher skilled occupations – new jobs are secure, long-term and helping people get on in life
  • Youth unemployment down by 185,000 since the last election – young people are finding work and earning a regular wage
  • Number of people claiming unemployment benefit down by 595,000 since 2010 – people are getting off benefits and into work (Office of National Statistics, 17 Dec 2014)

By backing businesses with better infrastructure and lower taxes, our long-term economic plan is helping create record numbers of jobs and giving families more financial security.

The biggest threat to all this is Labour. They left nearly half-a-million more people without a job when they were last in power and predicted that our plan would ‘lead to the disappearance of a million jobs’. Their plans for more spending, more borrowing and higher taxes would cost jobs and put the security of hardworking families at risk.

That’s why we need to keep working through the plan – to help deliver security for families and secure a better future for Britain.

The benefits cap is getting more people into work.

As part of our long-term economic plan, we’ve capped benefits to reward work – so that no household can claim more in benefits than the average family earns in work.

And new figures show the cap is working:

  • Those who would be affected by the cap are 41% more likely to move into work than a similar group who fall just below the level of the cap – this wasn't the case before the cap was in place
  • 85% of households that said they intended to seek work because of the cap have done so, and 40% of those who said they had looked for work because of the cap found work within six months
  • Before the cap, fewer than 300 families received over £9 million in benefits every year – the cap is stopping this and saving millions of pounds a year

(Source: Department for Work & Pensions, 15 Dec 2014)

Labour’s something-for-nothing benefits culture trapped people in a cycle of worklessness and welfare dependency.

But now the benefits cap is helping people make the positive move into work – gaining the financial security that comes with a job and a pay packet.

That’s why we’ll continue to support people into work – so even more people can get off benefits and look forward to a better, more secure future.

We're helping young people get onto the housing ladder

Our new Starter Homes initiative will give 100,000 first-time buyers under the age of 40 the opportunity to buy a new home at a 20% discount.

It’s the latest part of our long-term economic plan and will help more young people achieve their dream of owning their own home and getting on in life.

As part of the initiative, we’re changing the planning system to free under-used land from planning costs in return for builders agreeing to sell the homes they build there at below the market price – so more young people can afford to buy their first home.

Under Labour, house building collapsed and young people were frozen out of the housing market.

But with the Conservatives, house building is now at its highest since 2007 and more people are getting onto the housing ladder.

With this Starter Homes initiative and our Help to Buy scheme, we’re unlocking home ownership for young people – and helping them look forward to a better, more secure future.

After forgetting to mention the deficit in his Conference speech, Ed Miliband is now trying to claim that a Labour government would clear the deficit.

But the Institute for Fiscal Studies, the respected think tank, has analysed the Labour leader’s plans – and says they could lead to £50 billion more spending. Carl Emmerson, Deputy Director of the IFS, says:

  • ‘The amount of wiggle room which Labour would have is as much as £50 billion’
  • ‘Under a Labour government… you’d have much more borrowing, and therefore government debt’ (BBC Radio 4, World at One, 11 Dec 2014)

Once again, it’s clear that Labour have no plan to clear the deficit.

Their plans for more spending, more borrowing and more debt would increase the deficit, hit hardworking taxpayers, and put the recovery at risk.

Only the Conservatives have a long-term economic plan to clear the deficit, build a stronger economy, and secure a better future for Britain.

While we work through that plan, all Ed Miliband offers are empty words that show he’s just not up to it.

Labour just aren’t up to it on the economy – as these five quotes show:

1) ‘Do I think the level of public spending going into the crisis was a problem for Britain? No, I don’t. Nor our deficit, nor our national debt’

- Ed Balls, Marr Show, 26 Jan 2014

But Labour left Britain with the biggest deficit in peacetime history and, according to the OECD, the UK entered the financial crisis with one of the largest structural budget deficits in the industrial world. It’s not just this generation that are paying the price for Labour’s reckless spending - but our children and grandchildren too.

2) ‘We have to keep spending’

- Ed Miliband, Labour Party Conference, 27 Sept 2009

Even after Labour had wrecked the economy, Ed Miliband called for Gordon Brown to spend more. Only by controlling spending have we begun to clear up Labour’s mess. By making the same old mistakes Labour would wreck the economy again.

3) ‘They have a programme that will clearly lead to the disappearance of a million jobs’

- Ed Miliband, CBI Conference, 25 Oct 2010

Labour said our plan to back businesses, cut red tape and lower taxes would cost jobs; instead, it’s led to the creation of over 1.7 million jobs – helping hardworking taxpayers across the country provide for themselves and their families.

4) ‘I think people on middle incomes should contribute more through their taxes’

- Harriet Harman, LBC Radio, 14 Jul 2014

Just like they did when they were last in power, Labour want to hit people with higher taxes, meaning hardworking families keep less of the money they earn and are less secure.

5) ‘…’

- Ed Miliband, Labour Party Conference, 23 Sept 2014

At Labour’s conference, Ed Miliband spoke for an hour – but forgot to mention the deficit. If Labour ignore our country’s debts, how can hardworking taxpayers have the confidence that they won’t wreck the economy again?

These quotes prove that Labour aren’t up to it on the economy, haven’t learned their lessons, and would put the recovery at risk.

While Labour have got every big call on the economy wrong, we have a long-term economic plan that’s building a stronger, healthier economy and a better future for Britain.

That’s why we’ve got to keep working through our plan and keep Labour’s hands off the economy.

We’re helping families get off benefits and into work.

New figures show that the proportion of families where one or more people are working, and the proportion of children living in working families, are both at their highest since records began (Office of National Statistics, Families in the Labour Market, 9 Dec 2014).

Labour’s something-for-nothing benefits culture trapped families in a cycle of worklessness and welfare dependency.

But we’re fixing Labour’s mess by giving people the skills and opportunities they need to get into work and get on in life – so more children have the security of living in a household with someone earning a regular pay packet.

It’s a key part of our long-term economic plan and, as these figures show, that plan is working and helping hardworking families across the country.

We’ll continue to work through the plan and help even more people get off benefits and into work – so they can look forward to a better, more secure future for themselves and their families.

This Autumn Statement shows our long term economic plan is working: the deficit is falling, employment is rising, the economy is growing.

But only by working through the plan can we stay on course to prosperity – and deliver more security for hardworking families.

In the Autumn Statement, we set out more commitments to back people who want to work hard and get on in life:

  • Reforming stamp duty - 98% of homebuyers who pay stamp duty will pay less tax when they buy their home – a tax cut worth £4,500 when buying the average family home
  • Continuing to back businesses to create jobs - with action on business rates and more help for the high street
  • Abolishing the employers’ jobs tax on apprenticeships for people under 25 to help more young people get the skills they need
  • Continuing to cut income tax by raising the tax-free personal allowance and higher rate threshold – a down-payment on our commitments to raise the personal allowance to £12,500 and the higher rate threshold to £50,000 in the next parliament.
  • Cutting tax for families by abolishing the air passenger duty paid for children
  • Supporting savers by letting husbands and wives inherit their partner’s ISA and keep its tax-free status

These measures are part of our long-term economic plan that is building a stronger, healthier economy.

Next year Britain faces a choice: we can squander the economic security we have gained with Labour’s plans for higher taxes and higher spending - or we can work through our long-term economic plan that is working and stay on course to prosperity.

We’re investing in flood defences to protect people’s homes.

Thanks to our long-term economic plan, we can invest in the future infrastructure that the UK needs, including flood defences.

Under Labour, billions were wasted on inefficient and ineffective spending and not nearly enough was invested in flood defences.

We’re investing £2.3 billion in over 1,400 flood defence projects to better protect at least 300,000 homes – so families are more secure and have greater peace of mind for the future.

This is part of our National Infrastructure Plan for roads, railways, housing and flood defences, and ensures Britain has modern infrastructure fit for the 21st century.

The investment is only possible because of the difficult decisions we’ve taken as we work through our long-term economic plan to build a stronger, healthier economy.

That plan is securing a better future – and giving security to hardworking families.

We’re committed to the biggest investment in roads for a generation.

Our new £15 billion Road Investment Strategy will increase the capacity and condition of our roads – to keep the economy growing and help people get around and get on.

Labour failed to invest in roads, as Britain plummeted below Namibia, Slovenia and Cyprus in international league tables. Our roads became unfit for modern Britain.

Unlike Labour, we’re committed to supporting Britain’s infrastructure. We’ve already invested £9 billion in our roads since 2010, and this new investment will fund 84 new national road projects, with over 1,300 extra lane miles – including:

-Dualling the A303 and A358 to the South West, with a new tunnel at Stonehenge

-Dualling the A1 all the way from London to Ellingham, just 25 miles from the Scottish border

-Improving one-third of junctions on the M25

-Completing the smart motorway along the length of the M62 from Manchester to Leeds

-Upgrading the east-west connection to Norfolk, the M42 to Birmingham Airport, the A27 along the south coast, and links to the Port of Liverpool

Backing businesses with world-class infrastructure is a key part of our long-term economic plan – and is only possible because of the difficult decisions we’ve taken to reduce the deficit.

By investing in better roads, we’re not just reducing congestion and making our country a more connected place - we’re also helping to build a stronger economy and secure a better future.

The British people want controlled immigration – and that’s what the Conservatives will deliver.

Successive governments have lacked control over immigration and people are understandably frustrated. They don’t want limitless immigration and they don’t want no immigration. They want controlled immigration. And they are right.

That’s why we have a plan to remove the financial incentives that attract migrants to Britain, with changes to welfare an absolute requirement in our renegotiation of Britain’s relationship with the EU.

Our plan will mean that in future EU workers will:

  • Not get in-work benefits until they’ve been in Britain for four years
  • Not get social housing until they’ve been here for four years
  • Not get child benefits and tax credits for children living elsewhere in Europe, no matter how long they’ve paid taxes here

EU jobseekers will also not be supported by British taxpayers and will have to leave if they aren’t in a job within six months.

This plan will deliver the toughest system on welfare for EU migrants in Europe.

We’ll renegotiate to reform the EU and Britain’s relationship with it, with the issue of free movement a key part of that. Then we will put that reformed relationship to the people in a referendum. But if our concerns fall on deaf ears in Europe, we’re ruling nothing out.

Labour won’t renegotiate and won’t give you a referendum. If you want renegotiation and a referendum, there’s only one way to get them: by voting Conservative at the next election.