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Meeting economic challenges for the future. David Cameron MP speaks at LSE

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Rt Hon David Cameron MP, leader of the Conservative Party, gave a lecture to an audience of invited guests at the London School of Economics and Political Science today (Monday 10 September). His lecture focused on meeting economic challenges of the future and asked is this the end of economic history?

David Cameron began by stating 'When I studied economics, 20 years ago, arguments raged about the most basic principles of how to run the economy [and]...there was a vast gulf between left and right as to how this could best be achieved. The left advocated more intervention and government ownership. Those on the right argued for monetary discipline and free enterprise.

'That debate is now settled. Over the past 15 years, governments across the world have put into practice the principles of monetary discipline and free enterprise. The result? A vast increase in global wealth. The world economy more stable than for a generation. Global income doubled. Two billion people have escaped subsistence poverty, and joined the world economy.'

David Cameron continued with: 'Francis Fukuyama argued in the early 1990s that, if we see human history as the acting-out of intellectual disputes, then history was over. On the political battlefield, democracy had emerged the victor; in economics, liberalism had prevailed.... in this lecture I want to ask what has happened to his thesis in the economic sphere - the consensus on free markets. Have we really seen the end of economic history?'

'In Britain, it is tempting to answer that the consensus is intact', Cameron concluded that '...far from this being the end of economic history, far from there being a consensus on economic matters today... I believe there are still great battles to fight. But these are different battles, on different terrain.

'The fight for supply-side reform that will deliver economic growth in the face of globalisation. The fight for environmental protection that will deliver green growth in the face of climate change. And the fight for well-being that will deliver social growth in the face of inequality and social breakdown. Economic growth; green growth; social growth.

'These are the big questions in the economic debates of the modern age.'

In December 2005 David Cameron was elected leader of the Conservative Party. Prior to this he held the position of shadow secretary of state for education and skills.

Click here to download the transcript of his speech| (PDF)  

Press cuttings

U.K. Conservative Group Calls for Higher Taxes on Flights, Cars (13 Sep)

The blue-ing of the green movement (13 Sep)
Article refers to comments made by David Cameron in a speech at LSE on Monday.

Supply Management
Tories concerned over supply competitiveness (12 Sep)

Sky News
A green light for green taxes
(11 Sep)

 - speech in full on the BBC website 

Tories say supermarkets should be forced to charge for parking (11 Sep)
In a speech to the London School of Economics, Mr Cameron said that environmental levies offered a 'double dividend' of reducing pollution while offering scope to cut taxes on jobs and investment.

Evening Standard
Now Tories want us to pay for parking at the supermarket
(11 Sep)
In his speech to the London School of Economics yesterday, Mr Cameron said research shows that environmental taxes make more economic sense than other green measures such as carbon emissions trading schemes, where trees are planted to offset the amount of pollution created.

Daily Telegraph
Tories to end out-of-town free parking
(11 Sep)
'With my government, any new green taxes will be replacement taxes, not new stealth taxes,' he said in a speech to the London School of Economics.

Birmingham Post
Tories will use proceeds of green tax to help poor
(11 Sep)
Source: Lexis Nexis News

Cameron in green pledge over taxes (11 Sep)

Accountancy Age
Cameron outlines Tory tax plans (11 Sep)

Cameron promises lower-tax economy (10 Sep)
In a speech at the London School of Economics today he reaffirmed the traditional Conservative commitment to lower taxes. 

Cameron in green pledge over taxes (10 Sep)
In a major speech in London the opposition leader called for action both to tackle climate change and reduce inequality across Britain. He said Chancellor Gordon Brown had strangled business with regulation and extra taxes while doing little to help the worst off in society.

Conservative blog - mentions the speech given at LSE (10 Sep)

10  September 2007