Prime minister says he won’t turn back on same-sex marriage, child benefit cuts and overseas aid commitments
David Cameron has indicated he wants to stay in No 10 until 2020 as he prepares to unveil a review of how the coalition has performed.
The prime minister also warned Tory critics of the power-sharing government to “stop complaining” and insisted he would not turn back on same-sex marriage, child benefit cuts for the wealthiest and overseas aid commitments, according to the Sunday Telegraph.
Cameron and the deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg, will publish a mid-term review on Monday of the progress the coalition government has made since 2010 and set out its top priorities for the rest of their term.
Cameron told the Sunday Telegraph: “This is an enormous reform agenda and that’s enough to keep us all busy.”
The review is expected to include details of a cap on social care costs, which ministers have considered setting at £75,000, as well as pension and child care reforms.
The Conservative leader insisted he understood the impact cuts to child benefit for the top 15% of earners, which come into effect on Monday, would have.
“Look, I have complete understanding for people who are having their family budgets changed and money taken away and if there is more we can do to make it easier for people, yes of course.”
Asked if he would stay as prime minister until 2020, he said: “Yes – look, I want to fight the next election, win the next election and serve – that is what I want to do.”
Cameron made it clear he intends to be at the helm to see through long-term policy reformation that will last deep into the next parliament and beyond.
“Some of these changes – some things like, for instance, making sure we have a pension system where it really pays to save – that goes into the next parliament, and the parliament beyond that, and way beyond,” he said.
Cameron pointed to his desire to deliver school, welfare and foreign policy reforms, saying: “There are so many things we need to do that need to get done properly. I feel the road map in front of me has got so much on it that needs to get fixed.”
The prime minister, who is due to make a keynote speech on Europe in the coming weeks, also spoke of his desire to bring about changes to Britain’s relationship with the European Union.
“Everybody knows that Britain has a role to play in Europe, we’re a trading nation, we need access to those markets … but we’re not happy with the way the relationship works at the moment and so we want change.”
Cameron dismissed the idea of moving his party further to the right to counter the threat of the UK Independence party, which is attracting disenchanted Conservative supporters.
“In mid-term in government you are taking difficult decisions. There’s always going to be a tendency for people to look at protest,” the prime minister added.
“I don’t think my job is to try to identify different segments of people who are going this way or that. My job is to steer the ship in the right direction.”
He also fired a warning shot across European bows when he outlined a new policy on deportation. “I am fed up with seeing suspected terrorists play the system with numerous appeals,” he said.
“That’s why I’m keen to move to a policy where we deport first, and suspects can appeal later.”
And he admitted the government could have better promoted its same-sex marriage reforms, which have angered many Tory backbenchers.
“One of things we haven’t got across properly is this is what is going to happen in the register office,” he said.
“This is about what the state does, this is the civil part of marriage. We’re not changing what happens in church or synagogue or mosque.”
Clegg has previously claimed the mid-term review would would “surprise on the upside” by showing the government had achieved a “great deal” of the coalition agreement.
The Labour vicechairman, Michael Dugher, said: “Another year, another relaunch and still none of the change that David Cameron and Nick Clegg promised.
“They said they’d fix the economy. But living standards are still falling for the hard-working majority whilst a handful of millionaires get huge tax cuts.
“They said they’d fix welfare, but the welfare bill had gone up, not down. They said they would protect the NHS and then sacked nurses. Families who put their trust in David Cameron and Nick Clegg’s promises of change will be bitterly disappointed to see that another relaunch is all they are offering.”