We have a choice about the sort of economy – and therefore country – we want to be. I won’t accept a torpid economic consensus that wraps Britain in onerous regulation and nanny statism and smothers the private sector. Britain has always been at its best as a free-trading, free-market, enterprise-loving and wealth-creating nation.
Despite the Bank of England’s stark assessment this week, I do not believe in resigning our great country to managed decline or accepting the inevitability of a recession. The challenges we face are the consequence of the long tail of Covid, Putin’s appalling war and persisting with a tired economic orthodoxy.
We cannot turn things around with abacus economics, placing undue focus on tax and spend rather than growth.
That is why I will introduce a bold new plan to get growth going, deliver the supply-side reforms we need and put our economy on higher-growth footing.
I would hit the ground running by bringing in an emergency budget, charting a firm course to get our economy growing in order to help fund our public services and NHS. I would use this to immediately tackle the cost of living crisis by cutting taxes, reversing the rise on National Insurance and suspending the green levy on energy bills.
We would be able to put more money back in the pockets of hard-working people without delay. That is necessary, affordable and the right thing to do at a time when we face the highest tax burden in 70 years.
I will also announce a spending review to find more efficiencies in government spending. I kept a tight rein on the nation’s finances as Chief Secretary and would do so with even greater vigour as First Lord of the Treasury.
I want Britain to be a high-growth, high-productivity country. Our departure from the European Union gives us the chance to remake our economy and turn ourselves into a modern day powerhouse full of ideas and innovation.
I am determined to seize this opportunity.
I have led the way in striking dozens of post-Brexit trade deals around the world and gripping the Northern Ireland Protocol. I will go further to make the most of our new-found freedoms outside the EU by setting a “sunset” deadline for every piece of EU-derived legislation and testing whether it supports economic growth by the end of 2023.
Under my leadership, we want to send out the message loud and clear that Britain is open for business. We will work with local communities to create new low-tax and low-regulation investment zones where they are most needed.
These zones will be critical to levelling up the country in a Conservative way, speeding up development by ensuring through simpler planning rules that we can get spades in the ground quicker. They will drive jobs in the industries of the future, transforming areas in a similar way to the London Docklands.
I will be a pro-business, pro-growth, pro-investment Prime Minister on a scale not seen in the past few decades, working closely with businesses across the country, the City of London and fantastic metro mayors like Andy Street in the West Midlands.
I will push through reforms to rules like Mfid and Solvency II in order to bolster the City’s potential and unlock an estimated tens of billions of pounds in investment for our economy.
My plan for growth is clear, credible and comprehensively Conservative. I will bring together a strong team of ministers to ensure every department across Whitehall is helping to deliver it.
At the same time, we need to make sure financial regulators are playing their part in making sure our economy is competitive and pro-growth. We will work with industry leaders to move forward regulation which works for British businesses and consumers.
The spike in inflation was caused by a global supply shock, but it was exacerbated by monetary policy. The Bank of England’s mandate was last set in 1997 under Gordon Brown in very different economic circumstances.
I fully support its independence but its mandate cannot be bound by the same Brownian consensus twenty-five years on.
That is why I want to look around the world at what the best performing central banks are doing to control inflation and how we can ensure our Bank is delivering what we need it to deliver.
In these turbulent times, we need to unite to see our economy and country through to better days. I am ready to work night and day to tackle inflation, get growth going and deliver on our promises to the British people, including the readers of the Sunday Telegraph.
We cannot afford to stick with business-as-usual when our economy is on the verge of recession. I am the only candidate who can be trusted to forge a bold new direction. I will do whatever it takes to pave the way towards a brighter and more prosperous future.