Sir Edward Leigh: Spring Statement Shows a Solid Foundation on which to Build Britain’s Economic Future

Sir Edward Leigh MP has hailed the UK’s public finances as reaching a ‘turning point’ following the Chancellor’s Spring Statement, with the independent economic outlook showing a ‘solid foundation on which to build Britain’s economic future’.

Yesterday, the Chancellor said the outlook shows that:

  • Wages will rise faster than previously expected, with wages growing faster than prices in each year and reaching 3.3 per cent growth in 2023. 
  • Employment will continue to rise, with 600,000 more jobs by 2023.
  • The economy will continue to grow at 1.2 per cent this year, faster than Germany.
  • The deficit will be £3 billion lower than expected this year, down to 1.1 per cent of GDP from almost 10 per cent under Labour.
  • Debt on a sustained downward path for the first time in a generation.

The Chancellor also set out the Conservative Party’s priorities for Britain, announcing several new measures to ensure the economy continues to work for everyone:

  1. An economy fit for the future, investing in the infrastructure, skills and the new technologies which will shape the global economy. We are investing to cement our position as a destination for new tech, enabling passengers to have the option of ‘zero carbon travel’, investing in transport projects across the country and rolling out fibre broadband to nine more local authority areas.
  1. Supporting families after a decade of fixing the economy. Getting this to this point wasn’t easy, and families have felt the squeeze, so a new £3 billion Affordable Homes Guarantee scheme will deliver around 30,000 affordable homes. We are also boosting wages and cutting taxes and tackling period poverty.
  1. Supporting our public services because our balanced approach to the economy is working. This includes tackling knife crime with £100 million of new funding and building world-class public services by increasing spending by above inflation from 2020.
  1. Making sure we leave the economy and our planet in a better state than we found it through staying at the cutting edge of Clean Growth, leading the world to enhance biodiversity and reducing our dependency on natural gas by increasing the proportion of green gas in our system.

Commenting, Sir Edward said:

“The UK public finances have reached a turning point. I am delighted that our economy will continue to grow at a faster rate than Germany, with the jobs market continuing to thrive.

“This is a solid foundation on which to build Britain’s economic future post-Brexit, with support for our world-class public services able to go up.

“Labour opposed all the decisions we took to get the economy back on track. They now want one thousand billion pounds of extra borrowing and taxes, which would send debt spiralling. We should never let them take us back to square one.”