The Rt. Hon. Sir John Major KG CH

Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 1990-1997

1992Prime Minister (1990-1997)

Press Release – Prime Minister’s Comments on Inflation – 20 March 1992

Below is the text of the Conservative Party Press Release on Mr Major’s comments on inflation. It was issued on Friday 20th March 1992, reference 517/92.


“Today, for the first time in a generation, inflation in Britain is lower than inflation in Germany. No-one in Britain under the age of 24 has lived for a single day in which that’s been true”, the Rt Hon John Major, the Prime Minister and Leader of the Conservative Party, said at his adoption meeting in Godmanchester today.

“Low inflation is not enough for us. I want an end to inflation. The target I am setting for Britain is stable prices – pay packets and pensions that keep their value. No other Party will set that target; no other Party cares so much. But it is the only long-term way to proper peace of mind for the pensioner; and the only long-term way to stable, permanent jobs.

Lower tax and lower inflation – that’s my aim for Britain. And that’s what this Election is fundamentally about. On the outcome of the debate about tax depends the very future of our country. It is about the kind of Britain that we want. Low tax opens doors – widens choice, creates opportunity, extends ownership. High tax slams shut the doors on the hopes that are common to all.

That’s why Labour’s ‘budget’ was such a dismal, destructive, divisive ‘vision’ for Britain. It showed Labour have learnt none of the lessons of the ’80s, and forgotten none of the malice of their past. We will ensure that it was the last gasp of a dying creed.

Labour have tried to soft-sell Socialism, to soft-soap the British people. They’ve become a rent-a-quote party. A bland new quote for every principle. A brand new principle for every poll. But all the time, down below, hard-style Socialism has been brewing and bubbling. Now it’s coming to the surface. Rent-a-mob in Bolton market. Mug-the-middle incomes on the Treasury steps.”

Labour’s ‘Budget’: Short Change for Britain

“Labour would short change Britain. Change it immeasurably for the worse.

They would inflict on our country the sheer lunacy of a tax strategy that would hit all who achieve and all who aspire. Their ‘Budget’ would hurt the most skilled in Britain, and it would hurt them harder than even Labour have ever hurt them before – a ‘budget’ that would start top tax rates at half the income levels of France, and about a quarter of those of Italy. It would mean consultants in the National Health Service being stung far harder than tycoons in Milan.

But, above all, Labour’s ‘budget’ would inflict massive penalties on middle incomes – doctors, teachers, nurses, police – all in order to pay between two pence and four pence a week to nine million families, and 34 pence to two million more. Two-thirds of working families would gain little or nothing; while one family in six would have tax bills beyond their worst nightmares.

And that is just the cost of the tax they have admitted. But what of the cost of the rest of their plans? Labour’s manifesto contains no costings. Neil Kinnock promised them; but he’s broken his word. Well, they’re coming. We’re costing them. And we’ll publish them. We’ll keep Mr Kinnock’s promise for him. Then the whole country will know. Labour’s ‘budget’ fiasco is the tip of a gigantic iceberg towards which Mr Kinnock wants to steer our economy. It would rip a hole in the very fabric of Britain.”

Britain’s Choice

“Britain must decide when the day comes on 9 April. It must decide at an Election where the choices are stark. Do we want a government which is firm in its principles? Or one which lessens our standing abroad?

Do we want a government which maintains our defences? Or one which apologises for defending at all?

Do we want a government which keeps our Kingdom united? Or one which risks letting it fall apart?

Do we want a government which believes in more ownership? Or one which has fought it wherever it’s come?

Do we want a government which will stop strife in the workplace? Or one which would let the trade union militants loose?

Above all, do we want a country in which choice is extended? Or one in which opportunity is reduced?

Mr Chairman, this Party stands for the rule of law, strong defences, and a United Kingdom, proud of its position in the world.

We want a tax system which rewards skill and offers incentives to all.

I believe that the moment John Smith revealed his mean-spirited package was the moment Labour’s PR packaging began to fall apart. It was the moment the paint on Labour’s face began to run. It was the moment Labour showed they didn’t begin to understand the hopes and ambitions of the people of Britain. It was the moment Labour was rumbled – the moment the truth was out.”