New directions: Conservative government policies in the 1980s
The Conservative Party manifesto for the 1979 election presented Britain as a failure - its values eroded, its economy disabled and its public services a burden on the taxpayer. The first priority of government was to create an enterprise economy. It was believed that this could be achieved by maintaining tight control of the money supply to reduce inflation. This involved cutting public expenditure and, in what remained of the public sector, pursuing value for money. There were a number of other themes which ran through the rhetoric and policies of the Thatcher administrations. As political confidence grew and ways of achieving political aims were identified, changes became more radical.