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PM in new pledge to 'make life easier' for majority 'who just about manage'

Published 01/09/2016

Theresa May is chairing the first meeting of a Cabinet committee on social reform.
Theresa May is chairing the first meeting of a Cabinet committee on social reform.

Theresa May has promised to help "make life easier" for people struggling with the pressures of job insecurity, mortgage payments and school choice, as a new Cabinet committee on social reform meets for the first time.

In what will be seen as a bid to show her Government's agenda is about more than just Brexit, Mrs May will chair the first meeting of the committee - including Cabinet heavyweights like Chancellor Philip Hammond and Home Secretary Amber Rudd - in Downing Street.

Ahead of the meeting she said that her administration will pursue a "bold" set of social reforms targeted not just at the poor and vulnerable, but at millions of working people who are struggling to keep their heads above water.

"At the same time as helping the most vulnerable we must pursue social reform in a much broader sense to help make life easier for the majority of people in this country who just about manage," said the Prime Minister.

"You might have a job but you don't always have job security. You may have your own home, but you worry about paying a mortgage. You can just about manage but you worry about the cost of living and getting your kids into a good school.

"So while we continue to help the worst-off, we will also be focused on the millions of people for whom life is a struggle and who work all hours to keep their heads above water."

Mrs May's comments echoed her speech on the Number 1 0 doorstep after being appointed Prime Minister in July, when she pledged to "make Britain a country that works for everyone".

She said then that this "mission" involved not only fighting the "burning injustices" faced by those from disadvantaged backgrounds and ethnic minorities, but also tackling the problems faced by ordinary working-class families.

In a message to these people, she said: " I know you're working around the clock, I know you're doing your best, and I know that sometimes life can be a struggle. The Government I lead will be driven not by the interests of the privileged few, but by yours."

Other members of the social reform cabinet committee are Justice Secretary Liz Truss, Education Secretary Justine Greening, Business Secretary Greg Clark, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, Work and Pensions Secretary Damian Green, Communities Secretary Sajid Javid, Culture Secretary Karen Bradley and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Sir Patrick McLoughlin.

On Wednesday, Mrs May chaired the first full meeting of Cabinet after the summer break, which was dominated by progress on Britain's withdrawal from the European Union.

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