Below is the text of the Conservative Party Press Release on Mr Major’s comments on wealth creation. It was issued on Thursday 2nd April 1992, reference 759/92.
THE WEALTH WE’VE GIVEN IS THE WEALTH THEY’D TAKE AWAY
“In the 1980s the Conservatives gave power and ownership to the people. We pushed open the doors to a better life,” the Rt Hon John Major, said in Tooting today.
“We cut income tax by eight pence in the pound, so that every family could buy more of what they wanted. We made the economy grow, so earnings have risen. Today, after allowing for inflation, the family man on average earnings has £68 a week MORE – £3536 MORE a year – more to spend than he did under Labour.
That’s where the new wealth of Britain has come from. Cars, central heating, washing machines, freezers, microwaves, video recorders – once luxury items – have in a Conservative Britain become the standard in the majority of homes.
Don’t be bamboozled by recession into throwing away in Britain the policies that have led to the biggest rise in living standards for the mass of the people that we have ever known. Don’t throw it all away.
Remember – in five years of struggle and strife the last Labour Government raised living standards by just £2 a week, compared to £68 under us. The average family’s living standard has risen TWENTY times as fast under the Conservatives as it did under Labour. Don’t judge them on their promises – reject them on their record.
But on top of higher living standards we also spread ownership – four million new homeowners; four-and-a-half million people with personal pensions of their own; six million shareholders in the State companies we sold to the people.
In the next Parliament we want every family in this country to have a piece of Britain – to share in the Right to Own. Why? Because the people want it – and we believe in it.
Labour don’t. They never wanted council tenants to own their own homes. Never wanted young people to have their own pensions.
Never wanted families and workers to have shares.
Labour fought and fought and fought again to stop people buying the things they want for the people they love.
I warn the tens of millions who gained under this Conservative Government. Just stop, listen and think. Dare you trust your home, your pension, your savings, your shares – your very future – to the Labour Party that fought to stop you having them all?
I warn 6 million shareholders in the privatised companies – ordinary workers, pensioners, often young children with shares bought for them by their parents. Stop, listen, and think. Look at yesterday and reflect what a Labour tomorrow would mean.
Labour want nationalisation in the electricity industry; public control of water. They want to weigh down all the privatised companies under regulation and red tape.
It is a policy targeted like a laser against personal prosperity. Aimed to destroy the shareholdings of millions. Just look at what the mere fear of a Labour Government did to those shares. Yesterday £1370 million was lost from their value in just a few hours. Someone holding 500 shares in London Electricity lost £135 yesterday, and has lost £315 since the Election was called.
And what they would do to shares, they would do to homes and personal pensions as well. Slash their value.
Labour policies mean a rise in interest rates. House prices would drop through the floor.
And Labour would break the contract between the State and personal pension holders – scrap the help we give them to save for retirement.
Either the pensions would lose their value. Or millions of people, many on low earnings, would have to dig deep into their pockets to keep them up.
Labour would give the kiss of death to personal prosperity and family independence. Let no-one who votes on 9 April ever forget it.”