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Cameron vows 'land of opportunity'
David Cameron will today deliver a passionate defence of business as he sets out his ambition to make Britain "a land of opportunity for all".
In his keynote speech to the Conservative conference in Manchester, the Prime Minister will turn his fire on Ed Miliband, accusing the Labour leader of adopting an agenda which is anti-business and anti-enterprise.
He will tell Tory activists that profit, wealth creation, tax cuts and enterprise are "not dirty words" and that business is not the problem which Britain faces, but the solution to its problems.
Mr Cameron's speech will be seen as a direct riposte to the policy platform launched by Mr Miliband in Brighton last week, which featured a price freeze on energy companies, a rise in corporation tax and a threat of compulsory purchase of land which developers refuse to build houses on.
In an upbeat address, Mr Cameron will repeat his claim that the UK economy is finally "turning the corner" after the crisis. But he will insist that the job is not over and that Conservatives want to move on from "clearing up the mess" they inherited from Labour to "building something better in its place".
Mr Cameron will reject Labour accusations that the Tories represent only the "privileged few", declaring that he wants to create a society in which everyone who works hard has "the chance to make it", no matter what their background and whether they are from the North or South, black or white, male or female.
And he will declare that - unlike Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg - he will not be campaigning to be part of a coalition after the 2015 general election, but will be "fighting heart and soul for a majority Conservative Government" with a clear mandate and accountability for the promises it makes in its manifesto.
The Conservative leader's speech comes at the end of a conference dominated by the slogan "For Hardworking Families" which has seen Tories unveil plans designed to help households cope with the rising cost of living, including tax breaks for some married couples, the acceleration of mortgage support under the Help to Buy scheme and the prospect of a fuel duty freeze lasting until the election.
Welcoming recent positive economic indicators, Mr Cameron will say that Britain is moving from the rescue phase following the 2008 crash to recovery.
But he will add: "I didn't come into politics just to fix what went wrong, but to build something right...
"I believe that it is the great Conservative mission that as our economy starts to recover, we build a land of opportunity in our country today."
Setting out his vision, Mr Cameron will say: "In place of the casino economy, one where people who work hard can actually get on; in place of the welfare society, one where no individual is written off; in place of the broken education system, one that gives every child the chance to rise up and succeed.
"Our economy, our society, welfare, schools all reformed, all rebuilt with one aim, one mission in mind - to make this country at long last and for the first time ever a land of opportunity for all. So it makes no difference whether you live in the North or South, whether you're black or you're white, a man or a woman, the school you went to, the background you have, who your parents were. What matters is the effort you put in and if you put the effort in, you'll have the chance to make it."
Mr Cameron will accuse Labour of failing Britain's young people and disadvantaged households by having low expectations of what they can achieve.
And he will say that Mr Miliband's party fails to understand that business - and not the state - is the driving force behind wealth creation, jobs and prosperity for Britain's families.
"When the left say you can't expect too much from the poorest kids, don't ask too much from people on welfare, business is the problem not the solution, here in this party we say that's just wrong," the Prime Minister will say.
"If you expect nothing of people, that does nothing for them. Yes, you must help people, but you help people by putting up ladders that they can climb through their own efforts.
"You don't help children succeed by dumbing down education, you help them by pushing them hard. You don't help people by leaving them stuck on welfare, but by helping them stand on their own two feet.
"Why? Because the best way out of poverty is work and the dignity that brings."
Mr Cameron will tell activists: "We know that profit, wealth creation, tax cuts, enterprise are not dirty, elitist words. They're not the problem, they really are the solution.
"Because it's not government that creates jobs, it's businesses. It's businesses that get wages into people's pockets, food on their tables, hope for their families and success for our country.
"There is no shortcut to a land of opportunity. No quick fix. No easy way to do it. You build it business by business, school by school, person by person, patiently, practically, painstakingly.
"And underpinning it all is that deep, instinctive belief that if you trust people and give them the tools, they will succeed."
In a round of broadcast interviews this morning, Foreign Secretary William Hague said Mr Cameron's speech would show his vision.
"He is looking forward in the speech from the clearing up of Labour's mess that they are doing at the moment to what we are trying to get to in this country, and that is a land of aspiration and opportunity," he said.
Mr Hague was asked whether it mattered that Mr Cameron had not been able to give the price of value bread.
"It is important to keep inflation down, it is important to run the economy well," he said.
"It's important to make sure that people out there have got as much money as possible of their own to spend.
"I think that's what really matters to people rather than whether anybody knows the price of anything that's variable.
"I think it's a bit of an old-fashioned question now, 'what's the price of bread?'. There are very many different prices of a loaf of bread."
Mr Hague insisted the Government was not out of touch.
"This is a Prime Minister who is practical and very in touch in my experience," he added.