An Economy That Works For Everyone - Owen's Speech to Conference

Good morning Conference.

My name is Owen Meredith and I had the privilege to stand as our candidate in Newcastle under Lyme at the last election.


Conference, I believe in Great Britain. I believe our best days as a nation are ahead of us.

But, that is all at risk if we allow Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party to convince people that we can borrow and spend our way to greatness.  

We have achieved a great deal over the last seven years - record numbers in work, falling inequality, reducing the deficit.

But that record will be meaningless if we allow Jeremy Corbyn to turn back the clock. 


During my election campaign I met so many people who had been given the opportunity in life to fulfil their aspirations:

Young people building their career through a new apprenticeship. Families who had bought their first home thanks to Help to Buy. Workers who’d had their taxes cut and wages lifted by the National Living Wage.

Peoples lives changed, dreams realised, under this Conservative government. 

But it is not the government who have done this in isolation – it is private enterprise. Business men and women who have taken a risk, created a job, invested in the future of our great nation.

So to secure that great future that is ahead of our nation, we need to ensure capitalism and the free market economy works for everyone.

For it is modern capitalism, not 1970s socialism, which can deliver wealth and prosperity for all.

To have strong public services, to invest in our NHS, we must have a strong economy.  

For in order to share the proceeds of growth, we must first create them.


Now conference, during my election campaign in Newcastle, I was lucky enough meet some amazing people. Some who had been fortunate in life, others who had struggled through hard times to put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads. What united all of them, whichever way they voted, was a belief that they were doing the right thing for them and their family.

Many backed me and our party. Sadly 30 more backed Labour and Mr Corbyn.  

People have been with us on the difficult journey of rebuilding our economy over the past 7 years, but we must acknowledge for some it has not always felt like the economy is working for them. 


Conference, In our country today, more young people believe they will start their own business than be able to afford their own home. 

It is our duty to ensure every young person has the chance to do both.

That is why I welcome the announcement this week that we will help young people save for their first home by lifting the repayment threshold on student loans and by investing £10bn in Help to Buy. 

Conference, let us be proud of our record in government – but lets not believe the job is done.

For a young graduate leaving university, for a nurse working long shifts, for a small business owner competing against global tech giants. We must always show that we believe in them, and will always back them and their aspirations.


I believe in Great Britain, I believe our best days are ahead, and I believe our great Party can secure them.

As we look to the future, as we build a global Britain, let us redouble our efforts to ensure we build a country and an economy that works for everyone. 

Let us continue to govern in the greatest One Nation tradition, not for the many, or the few, but for everyone. 


Thank you.