RISHI SUNAK: We face huge challenges but the spirit of our great nation will help carry us towards a new age of optimism
We know that Britain is at its best in tough times. When we are tested – from the Blitz to the pandemic – we keep calm and carry on, we step up and help each other out, we summon our deepest reserves of strength, spirit and ingenuity to face the problem and find new ways forward.
That is the Britain that is admired around the world, it’s the Britain I love and am proud of – and it’s that spirit that will get us through the challenges before us today.
Our country is facing a profound economic crisis. We’re still reeling from the aftershocks of a pandemic which all but broke the global economy, as well as our own.
Putin’s unexpected and despicable war in Ukraine has destabilised energy markets and supply chains all over the world, pushing up the price every family pays to heat their home. And we need to fix the mistakes that have been made so we can restore confidence and economic stability.
And rebuilding our economy is vital not just at home, but abroad too. Our influence in the world, our ability to stand up to Putin and be a force for good, is going to be in large part based on the strength of our economy. We need to rebuild now.
We know that Britain is at its best in tough times. When we are tested – from the Blitz to the pandemic – we keep calm and carry on, we step up and help each other out, we summon our deepest reserves of strength, spirit and ingenuity to face the problem and find new ways forward
As I said on the steps of Downing Street, this will mean difficult decisions. As a Government, we won’t be able to do everything we want to right now, and there will be no easy choices. We will sometimes have to take the difficult path, so we don’t leave our children and grandchildren with a debt that we were too weak to pay ourselves.
But in rising to this moment and facing these tough decisions, I am filled with a sense of optimism about what we can achieve.
Our first challenge is to tackle inflation because it is the No 1 enemy. High inflation means bills are higher, everyday items cost more and family budgets become more and more squeezed.
So to grip inflation we will get our borrowing and our debt back on a sustainable path.
While it will mean difficult choices, if we can control inflation then we will be able to start getting those soaring energy bills under control and reduce the cost of the weekly food shop. It will also limit as far as possible the increase in interest rates and mortgage payments.
We will build a stronger NHS and that work is well under way. On Friday, I visited Croydon Hospital where more elective surgeries are taking place now than they were pre-Covid. It’s a stunning example of the right infrastructure and investment being put in place to tackle the Covid backlogs
All these things will help families and businesses get through this winter – together with the help we are already providing, including through the energy price guarantee.
I will approach these difficult decisions with fairness as my lodestar. Of course, there are limits, now more than ever. But just as I set up the Covid furlough scheme that saved 11 million people’s jobs and kept millions of small businesses afloat, so I will bring that same compassion to protecting the most vulnerable today. You saw me do that as Chancellor and you will see the same approach from me as Prime Minister.
And once we deal with these immediate issues, we can begin to fulfil the promise of that 2019 manifesto. People across Britain voted Conservative in that Election – in many cases for the first time – because they could see how the mission to level up our whole country would improve their lives and the life chances of their children.
Levelling up was a promise of opportunity and hope. That you could take pride in where you lived, you could have the best education for your kids at your doorstep, and high-quality public services there for you when you need them.
The Government that I lead will deliver on that promise.
We will build a stronger NHS and that work is well under way. On Friday, I visited Croydon Hospital where more elective surgeries are taking place now than they were pre-Covid. It’s a stunning example of the right infrastructure and investment being put in place to tackle the Covid backlogs.
We now need to make sure that is happening across the country. We’re providing record NHS funding and tackling the current backlog, but we will work even harder to ensure you and your loved ones will always get the care you need and deserve.
We will deliver world-class education, so you can be sure that your children will have the support to meet their potential, no matter where they are born.
We will put 20,000 more police on our streets, cutting crime and making our streets safer for our children to walk home at night.
We’ll control our borders, tackling illegal immigration and ending the tragedy that has seen so many innocent lives lost in small boats at the hands of cruel people-smugglers.
We’ll protect our precious natural environment, because the green fields of our land are an inheritance worth preserving for our children and grandchildren.
We will put 20,000 more police on our streets, cutting crime and making our streets safer for our children to walk home at night
And we will act in the national interest to do everything we can to build the UK’s energy security, including by investing in renewables and nuclear energy.
As we level up our whole United Kingdom, we will build an economy that modernises and embraces the opportunities of Brexit, where businesses invest, innovate and create jobs.
And as we stand up for our values in the world, so we will remain steadfast in our support for Ukraine and continue to work with our allies around the world to tackle injustice and protect democracy. After all that we have been through over these recent years, I fully appreciate how hard things are. I know that people are worried, even frightened, by the uncertainty of the future. While I can’t make every problem go away, I will do my utmost to make sure that we set our country on a path to a better, brighter future.
And together I believe we really can achieve incredible things. I have a fantastic team around the Cabinet table with me and I know that they all have the country’s best interests at heart and will work night and day to deliver for you
I also know how much work I have to do to restore trust and to put integrity, professionalism and accountability back at the heart of everything we do. I get it and I’m going to fix it.
The challenge we face as a country is like nothing we have seen before, and I want to be honest about that from the start. But I’m not daunted or deterred by the scale of the challenge.
I will work day in, day out to deliver for you. To earn your trust. To put your needs above politics. To bring stability to your lives.
And together I believe we really can achieve incredible things. I have a fantastic team around the Cabinet table with me and I know that they all have the country’s best interests at heart and will work night and day to deliver for you.
The confidence and determination that are the hallmarks of our great nation will carry us through the tough times and towards a new age of hope and optimism.
Source: Read Full Article