DAILY MAIL COMMENT: Now Hunt needs to walk the talk
For months, the Mail has been admonishing Jeremy Hunt to formulate a vision – and a detailed strategy – for Britain’s economic renewal.
Of course, the chancellor and his boss Rishi Sunak, still reeling from a year of fierce party infighting and rising inflation, have been busy stabilizing the ship.
But while they were being spoiled at Downing Street and trying to balance the books, Labour, aided and abetted by the pathologically Tory-hating BBC, has peddled an unrelenting narrative of decline and despair.
Is this Jeremiad really valid? It is true that Britain is in a sharp economic downturn, but claims that we are lagging far behind our main competitors are simply false.
It was nice to see Jeremy Hunt defy the naysayers and spread a message of optimism
UK inflation and growth are comparable to Germany and the EU average. Our unemployment rate is now less than half that in France.
Contrary to almost all forecasts, we are not yet in a recession. However, if the government’s enemies continue to badmouth Britain, they may well get us there.
So it was good to see Mr Hunt defying the naysayers yesterday and spreading a message of optimism. And his “four pillars” of recovery no doubt identified the areas where improvement is critical if we are to get back on our feet.
They are: Entrepreneurship (stimulating innovation and hard work); education (further training of the workforce); employment (putting the UK back to work and reducing dependence on welfare); and ‘everywhere’ (its shorthand for leveling up).
However, diagnosing the problem and administering a cure are two very different things. Mr Hunt’s rhetoric must be followed by urgent and effective action.
For example, the taxes are way too high and yet Mr. Hunt raises them. He speaks of Brexit as a “catalyst” for creating the most competitive tax system in the developed world – but plans an unprecedented six percentage point hike in corporate taxes.
Of course, the chancellor and his boss Rishi Sunak, still reeling from a year of fierce party infighting and rising inflation, have been busy stabilizing the ship
This paper understands the need to tame inflation and fix our shaky public finances, but the Chancellor must also be careful not to stifle the growth he says he craves.
Infrastructure is also essential to recovery, so the current confusion surrounding HS2 isn’t doing much to inspire confidence. The suggestion that the line could terminate at an obscure station in the West London suburbs rather than Euston is almost too absurd to be taken seriously.
We should either build the whole thing or not at all. This constant vacillation over HS2 only adds to a more general jitter.
Opinion polls show that the government still has a long way to go to restore public confidence. Establishing a positive Tory vision is a good place to start. It is now a matter of putting words into action.
children are suffering again
SOME 4.5 million students will be turned away at school gates next week, once again the innocent pawns in a political game being played by their teachers against the government.
After losing so many months of schooling during Covid (when most of these teachers enjoyed extended furlough on full pay), the seven separate days of strikes announced by the National Education Union are another major blow to their life chances.
Don’t children deserve better from those who are supposed to be their mentors?
Tony Danker, chairman of the Confederation of British Industry, says most bosses “secretly” want all their staff to return to the office rather than spending their days working from home. Why secretly? Isn’t it their right to demand a day’s work for a day’s wages? If you think this principle is being violated and productivity is falling as a result, you should say so loud and clear.
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk
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