Chancellor Jeremy Hunt confident ‘inflation is coming down’ and on track to be halved this year | Politics News
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt is confident his plan to reduce rising prices is working and will soon ease the financial strain on UK households.
Ahead of parliament returning on Monday, Mr Hunt acknowledged that many households across the country are still struggling financially.
He emphasised that “sticking to the plan” to reduce inflation is the best way to help them.
The chancellor will be interviewed on Trevor Phillips on Sunday from 8.30am today
Despite the Bank of England‘s prediction of a 7.1% inflation rate, experts still expect it to drop to around 5% by the year-end.
Inflation has eased back to 6.8% from a recent eye-watering peak of 11.1% last October, but is still far from the Bank of England’s 2% target.
Meanwhile, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has significantly upgraded the UK’s growth figures, showing that the economy rebounded from the COVID pandemic faster than previously thought, surpassing its pre-pandemic size nearly two years ago.
“As we move into autumn, I know family budgets are still stretched, but inflation is coming down and now is the time to see the job through. We are on track to halve inflation this year and by sticking to our plan we will ease the pressure on families and businesses alike,” Mr Hunt said.
“And it should be no surprise, despite the doubting from some, latest figures show we have bounced back better than many other G7 economies and are one of the most attractive countries in the world to invest.”
He added: “This government is unlocking the UK’s potential – attracting more investment, creating new jobs and growing the economy.”
Chancellor attempting to start autumn term on the front foot – but not everyone will be happy
Jeremy Hunt wants to strike an optimistic tone.
Following the summer recess, he and the prime minister will want to reset the Conservative Party, shift its dire polling, and get it on an election footing.
Overnight the chancellor has been briefing journalists trying to convey a hopeful message.
He’s saying ‘yes household budgets are tight’, but the government’s plan to get the economy under control is working, and he reiterated the pledge to halve inflation.
But in the Telegraph this weekend, he spoke about public sector productivity being the key to stopping more tax rises.
That message is not likely to go down well with all his Conservative colleagues, many of whom want to see a tax-cutting agenda ahead of the next general election. They think this will please voters.
Let’s remember, this chancellor wants to be known for his fiscal responsibility.
But he will come under increasing pressure in the run-up to the autumn statement.
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Responding to Mr Hunt’s comments, Rachel Reeves MP, Labour’s shadow chancellor, said he was “completely out of touch with the economic realities facing families across Britain”.
She added: “Going from no growth to low growth doesn’t merit a victory lap and shouldn’t be the summit of our ambitions.”
She said that Labour’s plan for the economy is about “investing in Britain” to “unlock growth, cut household bills and make working people in all parts of the country better off”.
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