From Politics Home - David Cameron will this evening acknowledge that the Conservative party not only failed to see emerging aspects of the financial crisis, but that previous Conservative governments had presided over “fundamental weaknesses” in the economy. In a speech tonight Mr Cameron will say that his party did not see “as early as we could have” the “unsustainable debts” in the banking sector.
“The unsustainable debts in our banks are a reflection of unsustainable debts in our households, our companies and our government. But if I’m honest, I have to admit that we – the Conservative Party – didn’t see this as early as we could have,” he will say.
“Do I believe we did enough to warn about the rising levels of corporate debt, banking debt and borrowing from abroad? No.”
Mr Cameron will also admit that while his party criticised Gordon Brown’s claim that he had abolished boom and bust, they had, in their spending plans, accepted that this had been the case.
“We based our plans on the hope that economic growth would continue,” he will say.
Mr Cameron is clear that his party were not the only ones in error, and that all parties were part of a “cosy economic consensus”, but that if elected his party would make a clean break with such views. Any future Conservative government will look to rebalance regions and industries in the economy, institute more radical welfare reform, and maintain tougher fiscal discipline.
However, in an apparent criticism of previous Conservative government policy Mr Cameron will also say that weaknesses in the British economy date back "decades", meaning rebalancing must now take place.
“Some of our economic difficulties today relate not only to what has happened in the last ten years, but also to certain fundamental weaknesses that have been there for decades.”
Such a time period would cover the governments of John Major and Margaret Thatcher, and Chancellorships including those of Nigel Lawson, Norman Lamont and current Shadow Business Secretary Ken Clarke.
A spokesman for Mr Clarke said that he was aware of and involved in the content of tonight's speech, and was fully supportive.
For full text of the speech click HERE