Yesterday the independent Office for National Statistics announced that the UK economy grew by 0.8% in the second quarter of 2014.
This is a hugely significant moment. It means that our economy has finally recovered to the level it was at before the terrible recession that hit this country under the previous Labour Government, which wiped out over 7% of our Gross Domestic Product.
And that’s not all: on Thursday, the International Monetary Fund predicted that the UK will be the fastest growing economy in the G7 in 2014. We’re growing faster than France, Italy and Germany, faster than Japan, faster than Canada and the United States.
This hasn’t happened by luck. It’s the result of the hard work of millions of people in this country and a Government that has been prepared to take the tough but necessary decisions to get our economy back on track. Reducing government spending to bring the deficit down and keep interest rates low. Cutting the tax businesses have to pay when they employ people to enable them to create more jobs. Improving our national infrastructure. Making the UK the best place in the world to start a business.
Although the news is good, there’s no room for complacency. The deficit is down but we haven’t eliminated it yet. And although the economy is now growing strongly, many people are yet to see an upturn in their personal financial situation.
That’s why next year’s election is so important. You have a clear choice: stick to the plan that is working or put the people who got us into this mess - and who to this day continue to argue for more spending, higher taxes on jobs and more debt - back in charge.