The full transcript can be read here. The transcript misses out the start of his speech regarding his Granddad, which made him seem a bit more human than I sometimes find him, usually when he's facing the media following a bad announcement by George Osbourne.
For me there was a little too much anti Labour rhetoric. Yes Labour were culpable, it happened on their watch and Vince had warned them, but there were many other issues involved as well. Labour have to shoulder some of the blame, however it seemed like all of the blame was being placed on them - which always seems to be the rhetoric that the coalition partners use.
He talked a good game about what we should want from a liberal economy:
- A liberal economy shaped by free and open competition,
- A liberal economy built on long-term investment, not debt and waste.
- A liberal economy where growth is shared across the country
- A liberal economy where taxation delivers fairness.
However I don't think the speech was detailed enough in substance.
It was good however that he highlighted the closed elements of the single market, these have been going on for too long so it is important that we work to break down these barriers.
There was a good section where he spoke about tax policies (as an accountant with 2 years tax experience I am still interested in even the finer detail of these), how people are better off now because of them, however it is always deceptive. Yes they are better off with more cash in their pocket but by increasing the VAT rate to 20% the things people buy cost more. It is good that we are giving people more money to spend, but we with VAT and inflation whilst most wages are stagnating we need to make sure that they can go further.
The idea of someone earning minimum wage not paying tax at all however is perfect. If we are saying to someone that is the minimum you should be paid for your work - however we're going to take a small chunk of it, that sends out completely the wrong message. I agree that this should be on the front page of our manifesto for 2015.
It was a good speech to a friendly audience, however I don't think it'll have gone down well with any person who thinks we are on the wrong track.