We have made real progress on getting the economy back on its feet and getting public spending under control. The deficit has been more than halved, employment levels are high, and the economy continues to grow, but there is no room for complacency and the progress we have made remains vulnerable to global economic shocks which we must continue to guard against. I believe there is also much more to do to ensure that our pensions system is robust and that people are properly incentivised to save for a pension.
A sound economy is the basis for everything else, but quite rightly the recent Queen's Speech set out a broader, ambitious agenda for social justice and improving the life chances of everyone in our so-ciety.
We are focussing on tackling the barriers to opportunity - de-spite the progress we have made there are too many people left behind and the plans set out in the Queen's Speech address this challenge. Increasing life chances for the most disadvantaged, and creating opportunities for everyone to have the chance to get on in life if they work hard and do the right thing has always been a core part of modern Conservatism.
The Queen's Speech set out bold reforms to tackle some of the most challenging social problems in our soci-ety and to break down the barriers to opportunity. In particular pro-posals to help improve chances for children in care will make a real difference. I have long been a supporter of social justice and giving people the opportunity, no matter where they have come from, to get on in life and with the proposals set out recently we have a strong programme to do just that.
So, a busy parliamentary and campaigning year in prospect! As always, I look forward to seeing many of you in the coming months."