On Friday, the British Chancellor of the Exchequer presented a roadmap for the growth of the UK economy, pledging to seize the opportunities beyond. BrexitDespite calls for tax cuts, keeping the fight against inflation a priority.
Minister Jeremy Hunt presented the Conservative government’s plan in London following criticism from the business community to emphasize that the country is not going backwards.
“Confidence that Britain is headed for decline was wrong in the past and it is wrong today,” Hunt said, “and some of that pessimism is based on statistics that don’t capture the full picture.”
But the Bank of England (the central bank) and the government office responsible for financial regulation believe the economy has already entered recession due to the effects of inflation on consumer prices.
Following the 2016 referendum in favor of leaving the EU, the finance minister explained how Britain could benefit from the “freedoms” gained as a result of leaving the EU two years ago.
“Like every G7 country, our growth has been slower than in the post-financial crisis years. But since 2010 the UK has grown faster than France, Japan and Italy,” he said. “Since the Brexit vote, we have grown at the same rate as Germany,” he added.
“The further we look, the weaker the belief that Britain is headed for decline. The UK is poised to play a leading role in Europe and around the world in the growth sectors that will characterize this century,” he added.
Hunt will also oversee a strategy aimed at increasing lean productivity, focusing on key sectors such as digital technology, green industries, life sciences, advanced manufacturing and innovation sectors.
He said it was important to look beyond the “near-term” repercussions on business from Brexit, such as border delays, red tape and staff shortages.
He pointed out, “The big change in our trade relations with our closest neighbors, of course it has to be adjusted, and of course there are some obstacles.” “But I think it’s a complete mistake to focus on that without looking at the opportunities.”
Hunt rejected calls from his deputies for tax cuts, saying tackling rampant inflation would put more money in Britons’ pockets. “The best tax cut right now is to reduce inflation,” he told the business crowd.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak wants to halve inflation this year, which is nearing a 40-year low of 10.5 percent. It started falling after the Bank of England hiked interest rates above 11 percent.
Former Prime Minister Liz Terrace was sacked last year. His budget plan, based on tax cuts, sparked chaos in financial markets, led to a plunge in the pound and calls for emergency intervention by the Bank of England to restore financial stability. On Friday, Hunt said the Sunak administration had presented a new plan for “long-term prosperity.”
“Our plan for growth is based on the freedoms Brexit offers. It’s a plan to boost productivity. … It’s a plan to use the income from growth to support our public services at home and support new low-carbon businesses. The carbon economy and supporting democracy abroad.” He said it was “the right path for our country and the role we want to play in the world”.
“Coffee trailblazer. Social media ninja. Unapologetic web guru. Friendly music fan. Alcohol fanatic.”
Boris Johnson: I will vote against Rishi Sunak deal with Brussels on Northern Ireland
Kuwait and Britain establish a strategic dialogue
114 migrants rescued on French coast in English Channel