In a speech to the Conservative get together convention in Manchester Jeremy Hunt has laid out his key themes for the approaching yr.
Firstly he mentioned he wished to cut back the variety of officers working in authorities by 66,000, saving a billion kilos a yr.
Hunt mentioned it was a part of a wider productiveness drive and civil service reform plan to cut back the dimensions of the state and enhance effectivity.
“We’ve got the perfect civil servants on the planet and so they saved many lives within the pandemic by working evening and day,” Hunt mentioned.
“However even after that pandemic is over we nonetheless have 66,000 extra civil servants than earlier than.
“New insurance policies mustn’t all the time imply new individuals. So right this moment I’m freezing the growth of the civil service and setting up a plan to cut back its numbers to pre-pandemic ranges.”
Hunt mentioned that voters would face an “elemental selection” on the subsequent election between “sound cash beneath the Conservatives or run out of cash beneath Labour”.
He highlighted Labour plans to borrow £28 billion to put money into the transition to web zero, arguing it might result in larger taxes in the long run.
“Borrowing on that scale dangers fuelling inflation and preserving rates of interest larger,” he mentioned.
TV & Movie manufacturing
Hunt, a former tradition secretary, mentioned he desires to see Margot Robbie draped in a Union Jack for the Barbie sequel as he talked up the power of the nation’s movie and TV sector
The chancellor — who informed delegates that Britain is a world chief in sectors of the long run akin to offshore wind — famous the position of the UK in Greta Gerwig’s fantasy comedy which is estimated to have grossed $1.34 billion worldwide.
“We’re Europe’s greatest movie and TV manufacturing centre,” Hunt mentioned to applause from the ground. “Subsequent time I need to see Barbie carrying a Union Jack as a result of that too was filmed in Britain.”
Hunt, who ran the tradition division for greater than two years from 2010, used his spring funds to enhance the tax breaks obtainable to studios akin to Barbie producer Warner Bros Discovery in the event that they produce their movies within the UK.
Profit claimant crackdown
Hunt mentioned it was unfair that somebody who “refuses” to search for work “will get the identical as somebody making an attempt their greatest”.
The federal government will crack down on these claiming advantages who don’t actively search work, mentioned Hunt.
He additionally introduced the federal government would exchange the prevailing Work Functionality Evaluation and the sanctions regime.
He claimed 100,000 individuals depart the workforce yearly to stay on advantages.
The chancellor spoke of his pleasure about residing in a rustic with “a ladder everybody can climb, but additionally a security web beneath which nobody falls”.
He added this security web was a part of a “social contract” depending on “equity to these in work alongside compassion to those that aren’t”.
“From final yr for the primary time ever you may earn £1,000 a month with out paying a penny of tax or nationwide insurance coverage,” he added.
Labour authorities ‘will enhance debt’
A Labour authorities will result in larger taxes and better inflation, the chancellor mentioned.
Opposition plans to borrow £28 billion to put money into the transition to web zero will enhance authorities debt, Hunt added.
“Which means larger taxes, larger mortgages and better inflation for households. That’s not an financial coverage. It’s an financial phantasm.”
Hunt mentioned public spending was rising quicker than the economic system.
“We want a extra productive state, not a much bigger state,” he mentioned.
Hunt urged the UK may stabilise authorities spending as a proportion of GDP if public sector productiveness elevated by 0.5 per cent yearly.
John Glen, the chief secretary to the Treasury, will evaluate how this may be performed, he added.
Minimal Wage rise
Hunt additionally confirmed the federal government will settle for recommendation to lift the residing wage to no less than £11 kilos an hour up from £10.42. The change will come into impact in April 2024.
Chatting with the convention, the chancellor mentioned: “That could be a pay rise for almost two million employees and [will make] the wages of the bottom paid over £9,000 larger than they had been in 2010 as a result of in case you work onerous, a Conservative authorities will all the time have your again.
“We promised in our manifesto to lift the nationwide residing wage to 2 thirds of median revenue, ending low pay on this nation.”
Jeremy Hunt, who final spoke to the convention 5 years in the past as overseas secretary, began his speech with a joke that Rishi Sunak was doing a great job at “getting the over-50s again into work”.
The chancellor adopted this up with not too long ago revised ONS development figures exhibiting the UK had been one of many best-performing European economies because the pandemic — earlier figures had proven the UK on the backside of the record.
Hunt mentioned he and Sunak intention to make the UK the world’s subsequent Silicon Valley and praised the tech business in addition to successes with Covid vaccines.
Talking concerning the chancellors speech, Rain Newton-Smith, CBI Chief Govt, mentioned: “The Chancellor is correct to spotlight the sound fundamentals of the UK economic system and to set out a optimistic imaginative and prescient for the UK on a world stage. Amidst fierce competitors for funding, we should be daring in championing the UK’s pro-enterprise credentials and dedication to analysis and innovation.
“With restricted fiscal firepower at its disposal, the Authorities should concentrate on stability and predictability to tip the stability for traders. As a substitute of blended messages, we have now to press forward with delivering our web zero commitments to unlock critical ranges of enterprise funding.
“Tackling inflation would possibly stay the primary precedence, however there’s extra to do to get the economic system firing once more. Authorities and enterprise want to tug in the identical course on tax, funding and large development alternatives to interrupt the low development cycle and ship prosperity for all.”