Liz Truss speech: Prime Minister puts ‘growth’ at centre of first Conservative Party Conference address
Scale of challenges ahead are “immense” as PM mentioned the Ukraine war and the wider global economic crisis
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Liz Truss has given her speech at the end of the 2022 Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham.
Within the 25 minute speech, Ms Truss touched on moving forward following Brexit, getting “Britain moving,” and keeping taxes low.
The Prime Minister’s ‘honeymoon’ period has been short and she gave her speech following what has been a turbulent week in her premiership.
Entering the stage to ‘Moving On Up’ by the band ‘M People’ and following a prolonged standing vocation from the crowd, Liz Truss got underway.
She acknowledged the building and progress going on in Birmingham, and pointed out “This is what a city with a tory mayor looks like.”
Ms Truss said she wanted to get Britain moving through what she described as “tough times.”
She said: "I am driven in this mission by my firm belief in the British people. I believe that you know best how to spend your money, get on in your life and realise your ambitions. That is what Conservatism is about.
"It is a belief in freedom, fair play and the great potential of the British people."
"I want to live in a country where hard work is rewarded.
“Where women can walk home safely at night and where our children have a better future.
"To deliver this, we need to get Britain moving. We cannot have any more drift and delay at this vital time.
Ms Truss then pointed out, to huge cheers’ that she is the first PM to have attended a comprehensive school - something which isn’t true as PM Gordon Brown attended a state school in Fife.
The speech was then interrupted by Greenpeace protestors holding a banner which said “Who Voted For This” and shouting about the decision to overturn the fracking ban.
The two were swiftly removed by security to a further cheer and applause from the hall.
The energy crisis has been front and centre at the conference, and Ms Truss built on this within the speech.
She said: "Our response to the energy crisis was the biggest part of the mini-budget.
"It was the biggest part for good reason - because we had to do it."
“I have three priorities for the economy: growth, growth, growth.
"As the last few weeks have shown, it will be difficult. Whenever there is change, there is disruption.
"Not everyone will be in favour. But everyone will benefit from the result - a growing economy and a better future."
Ms Truss said that the Conservatives will always be the “party of low taxes” and that cutting taxes is “morally right”.
She said: "Cutting taxes is the right thing to do morally and economically.
"Morally, because the state does not spend its own money. It spends the people’s money.
"Economically, because if people keep more of their own money, they are inspired to do more of what they do best. This is what grows the economy."
The u-turn on the 45p rate of income tax was also mentioned by the PM, as she cited it as “a distraction.”
The PM moved on to talk about the housing situation in the UK and outlined how houses have not been built where they are most needed.
She said: "houses have not been built where they are needed and wanted.
"I love enterprise and I love people who take responsibility, start their own businesses and invest," she tells the audience.
"They generate profits, create new jobs and power our success. I want to see more of that. That is why we will back businesses."
She also reinforced the fact that the government wants to "make it easier to build homes, to afford childcare and to get superfast broadband".
"We will help you set up your own businesses and get a mobile phone signal wherever you are in the country."
Ms Truss promised the people of the UK that they will be supported by saying "Let me be clear, we have your back.
She then said that her economic fund will lead to funding for “great public services” and improve issues such as A&E waiting times.
Liz Truss then hit out at those who are against growth and the "militant unions and the vested interests dressed up as think-tanks, the talking heads, the Brexit deniers and Extinction Rebellion and some of the people we had in the hall earlier".
She added: "They prefer protesting to doing, they prefer protesting to doing. They prefer talking on Twitter to taking tough decisions.
"They taxi from North London townhouses to the BBC studio to dismiss anyone challenging the status quo.
"From broadcast to podcast. they peddle the same old answers. It’s always more taxes, more regulation and more meddling. Wrong, wrong, wrong."