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George Osborne: A Conservative majority guarantees change for the better

Today we are previewing our new Election Broadcast that will be aired tomorrow. Unusually we have chosen to give up our slot for a new political party.

A party with the potential to change the way that Britain is governed, with far reaching consequences for every man, woman and child in this country.

So there you have it – a vote for the Hung Parliament party is a vote for politics behind closed doors; indecision and weak government; a paralysed economy; yet another election; and very possibly, waking up on the 7th of May to find out that Gordon Brown is still in Downing Street.

So today we are explaining why a hung parliament would represent a change for the worse, not a change for the better. Jeremy is going to explain why a hung parliament would not bring about a new politics – in fact it would plunge us into the bad old politics of the 1970s, with horse-trading and deals behind closed doors instead of transparency and reform. But first let me say something about the very real risks that a hung parliament poses for our economic stability and prospects for recovery. We know from our country’s history that these risks can become a reality.

After the last hung parliament in February 1974 the stock market fell by 15% in a month, and ended the year more than 50% below where it began. Inflation rose and interest rates were forced higher.

For five years Britain was condemned to weak government and economic instability. Britain cannot afford a repeat of that experience. Today the British Chambers of Commerce published a poll of their members. Two thirds are concerned about the potential impact of a hung parliament.
As their Director General put it, “Businesses are right to be wary about the prospect of a hung parliament.”

A survey earlier this month of investors managing more than £1.7 trillion of assets found that almost twenty times more respondents thought a fall in the pound was most likely under a hung parliament than under a conservative government.

More than ten times more respondents thought the same about a credit rating downgrade.

And forecasts by the Centre for Economics and Business Research published at the weekend show that a hung parliament would lead to higher mortgage rates and a falling pound – even in their best case scenario.

That would mean higher costs for families – higher fuel prices, more expensive foreign holidays and higher mortgage payments – potentially by more than £1,000 a year.

That’s why Digby Jones – a former Labour Minister – says that a hung parliament is “not good for stability and growth”. And it’s why we are campaigning so hard for a Conservative majority.

Because only a Conservative majority guarantees change for the better. And only a Conservative majority can secure the recovery.

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