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PM's backing for the working class

By Joe Watts

Published 06/10/2016

Prime Minister Theresa May and her husband Philip John after she delivered her speech during the fourth day of the Conservative Party conference
Prime Minister Theresa May and her husband Philip John after she delivered her speech during the fourth day of the Conservative Party conference
Party members applaud her speech

Theresa May has used her conference speech to make a land-grab for the centre ground of British politics by declaring that she will govern for "ordinary working-class people".

The Prime Minister sought to sympathise with hard-pressed workers and signalled a major shift in economic policy by admitting George Osborne's era of quantitative easing (QE) had made the rich richer, while hitting ordinary people with "bad side effects".

Ms May claimed QE, which flooded the economy with printed money in the wake of the 2008 crash, has benefited those lucky enough to own assets while leaving the rest behind.

Addressing the conference, the PM said: "Time for a new approach that says while government does not have all the answers, government can and should be a force for good. That the state exists to provide what individual people, communities and markets cannot and that we should employ the power of government for the good of the people."

In a key passage of her speech she said QE, which to date has seen the Bank of England buy up to £375bn of bank assets, had been necessary to tackle the aftershock of the 2008 crash.

But in her speech yesterday, Ms May said "there have been some bad side effects".

"People with assets have got richer. People without them have suffered. People with mortgages have found their debts cheaper. People with savings have found themselves poorer," she said.

"A change has got to come. And we are going to deliver it."

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