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The Prime Minister admits critics see the Government’s welfare policies - which can see people refused benefits if they will not look for a job - as “cruel” but insists they will continue as ministers seek further ways of bringing down the deficit.

The tough-sounding message will appeal to core Conservative voters and has a notable absence of lines to please the Liberal Democrats.

Critics of moves on welfare have included some leading Lib Dems.

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The New Year message, by contrast, appears to bear the hallmarks of Lynton Crosby, the Australian “attack dog” political strategist expected to start his role as the Tories’ general election co-ordinator in the New Year.

Mr Cameron praises the Government’s welfare policies, which include a squeeze on most welfare payments, which will increase by a below-inflation one per cent for the next three years.

“When people say we’ve got to stop our welfare reforms because somehow it is cruel to expect people to work, we are saying no.

Getting people into good jobs is absolutely vital, not just for them, but for all of us.

There is no mention, for example, of upcoming moves to allow same-sex couples to marry.

It comes as leading Tory modernisers, in a new book, call on him to abandon Right-wing policies and rhetoric and to reinvigorate the drive for change in his party that he pursued in his first years as Conservative leader.The Prime Minister says: “Britain is in a global race to succeed today.It is race with countries like China, India and Indonesia; a race for the jobs and opportunities of the future.“And when there is a fight on our hands to change our schools, we are ready and willing to have it because having a world-class education is the only way our children are going to get on in this world.So when people say we can slow down on cutting our debts, we are saying no.We can’t win in this world with a great millstone of debt round our necks.