I am a firm believer that people who work hard and do the right thing should be able to keep more of what they earn.

The money that Government collects in taxes is needed to provide the best public services for all of us. But they do need to be paid for. We need to get the balance right between what people keep for themselves and what we take from taxpayers.

That is why we have focused on making sure that people keep more of their own money before giving money to the taxman. When we came to office nine years ago only the first £6,475 that people earned was tax free. Today workers can earn £12,500 before paying tax. That is a tax cut for 32 million British taxpayers. All this while bringing our nation’s finances under control.

This has been challenging but necessary. It simply isn’t right to fund Government spending today on the taxpayers of tomorrow. But that is what happens when Government’s spend money they don’t have and are forced to borrow to make up the balance.

Now that the nation’s finances are on a more even keel we can make more money available to fund better services. We are making significantly more money available to our NHS. We are making more money available for the police. We will make more money available to our schools.

To those of you who work in our public services, I know that there have been challenges and I thank you for the real efforts you make to continue to deliver the best. As we approach a new spending review I hope we can provide a more secure future financial settlement for all of you.