Theresa May: Free market capitalism is the 'greatest agent of human progress'

Posted On: 
28th September 2017

Theresa May will today claim that free market capitalism is "the greatest agent of collective human progress ever created".

Theresa May will defend capitalism at a speech at the Bank of England today
PA Images

The Prime Minister will make the claim just a day after Jeremy Corbyn said the capitalist system faces "a crisis of legitimacy".

In a clear swipe at the left-wing Labour leader, she will say capitalism is aimed at improving the lives of ordinary people rather than "serving an abstract doctrine or an ideological concept".

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Mrs May will mount her defence of the economic model in a speech marking 20 years since Labour gave the Bank of England freedom to set interest rates.

She will say: "A free market economy, operating under the right rules and regulations, is the greatest agent of collective human progress ever created.

"It was the new combination which led societies out of darkness and stagnation and into the light of the modern age. It is unquestionably the best, and indeed the only sustainable, means of increasing the living standards of everyone in a country.

"And we should never forget that raising the living standards, and protecting the jobs, of ordinary working people is the central aim of all economic policy. Helping each generation to live longer, fuller, more secure lives than the one which went before them. Not serving an abstract doctrine or an ideological concept – but serving the real interests of the British people."

The Prime Minister will also defend the Government's austerity programme, insisting the UK must continue to deal with its debts.

She will say: "To abandon that balanced approach with unfunded borrowing and significantly higher levels of taxation would damage our economy, threaten jobs, and hurt working people."