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David Cameron: Britain in 'social recession'

By Channel 4 News

Updated on 22 January 2010

Conservative leader David Cameron attacks Labour for its "moral failure" and pledges to dig Britain out of "social deficit".

Conservative leader David Cameron (credit:Reuters)

Mr Cameron pointed to the torture of a nine and an 11-year-old boy in Edlington, South Yorkshire, by brothers aged 10 and 11.

He said it was a crime which "profoundly shocked the whole country" and had to be considered as part of what was "going wrong" in society.

The brothers were sentenced this morning to an indefinite period in custody and told they will serve a minimum of five years.

"I don't think it is right every time one of these events take place to say that it is just some isolated incident of evil that we should look away from and forget about."

"Are we going to do that every time there is a Jamie Bulger or a Baby Peter or a Ben Kinsella or a Gary Newlove or what has happened in Doncaster today? We shouldn't. We should ask about what has gone wrong with our society and what we are going to do about it."

The draft manifesto chapter that Mr Cameron launched today did not contain more details on the Conservatives' controversial plans for tax breaks for married couples.

Mr Cameron faces fresh questions over how the marriage tax plans will be paid for after suggestions in the Daily Telegraph that the money could be raised through extra "green taxes" including more duty on fuel.

But shadow Chancellor George Osborne dismissed the claim about plans for higher green taxes as "bizarre" and "wrong".

"I'm not sure how it came about," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme. "We are not planning, as I think the newspaper report suggests, to jack up road taxes to pay for anything.

"That does not match with the reality of our plans."

The tax policy was attacked as "social engineering" by Schools Secretary Ed Balls and an unfair "bribe" by Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg at the weekend.

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