The economic principles underlying the policies of the Thatcher government in the UK from 1979 to 1990. These included promotion of competition to strengthen economic incentives, reduction of the role of government by deregulation and privatization, reliance on monetary policy to eliminate inflation, widening of individual choice, for example through the sale of council houses to their tenants, and a reduction in the powers of trade unions. 

Traditional conservatism was based on principles of pragmatism and ‘good sense’, alongside a suspicion of revolutionary and radical ideas. Thatcherism, however, was different, and as an ideology, it came to dominate much of the party’s thinking and policies throughout the 1980s and into the 1990s. Associated most closely with Margaret Thatcher (Conservative Party leader from 1975 to 1990), it was far more ideological than previous forms of conservatism and represented conviction over compromise. Neo Liberalism 

Thatcher saw herself a transformational Prime Minister whose mission was to promote individual freedom, especially economic, to slay the ‘dragons’ of overly powerful trade unions and to emphasise self- help and personal responsibility. The aim was to ‘roll back the frontiers of the state’, denationalise (privatise) most government-owned industries and encourage council tenants to buy their own homes. This was to be accompanied by lower taxes, especially on income.

The prolonged and bitter 1984–85 miners’ strike saw Thatcher’s government break the power of one of the country’s most formidable unions, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), a feat that had eluded previous prime ministers including Thatcher’s predecessor Edward Heath. She also embraced a more confident, assertive foreign policy, overseeing the Falklands victory in 1982 and working closely with that other famous Cold War warrior, US president Ronald Reagan.

What was Thatcherism?

Her  campaign marketing man in 1979 , Maurice Saatchi, the advertising mogul and now chairman of her CPS thinktank, had no doubt after news of her death: "She developed all the winning arguments of our time – free markets, low tax, a small state, independence, individuality, self-determination. The result was a revolution in economic policy and three election victories in a row."