Starmer urges Hunt to get Britain off ‘path of controlled decline’ ahead of budget


ir Keir Starmer has urged the Chancellor to ‘steer the UK away from this path of controlled decline’ ahead of the spring budget.

The Labor leader called on Jeremy Hunt to join his party’s ambition to secure the highest sustainable growth in the G7 group of advanced economies.

Labor has criticized the faltering economy under the Tory government, pointing to data showing the UK has 3,000 fewer high-growth companies than five years ago.

According to figures from the Office for National Statistics, 10,695 companies were classified as high growth in 2021, compared to 13,925 in 2018.

My Labor Party will unlock Britain’s enormous economic potential and deliver the growth this country so desperately needs

Labor’s proposals to meet its growth target include a green prosperity plan and a national wealth fund, which it says could support 450,000 new jobs this decade.

Sir Keir and Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves will visit a fuel cell manufacturing plant in Surrey on Monday – one of the industries set to benefit from the plans.

Ahead of the visit, the Labor leader said: “These are economically challenging times. But I do know that entrepreneurship, creativity and aspiration are as present in Britain today as ever.

“This week the government has a real opportunity to show it has the ambition and the ability to govern. Either they show proper leadership and take our country off this path of controlled decline, or they sidestep a new Labor government.

“Labour’s mission to ensure the highest sustainable growth in the G7 will not only put us back on top, but ensure that all parts of the country are better off, not just a select few.

“By spreading power, wealth and opportunity everywhere, my Labor Party will unleash Britain’s vast economic potential and deliver the growth this country so desperately needs.”

Labor has previously said an £8billion national wealth fund would lead to a zero-carbon economy ‘Made in Britain’ and has pledged to invest £28billion a year in the so-called green economy.

Ms Reeves said the plans were inspired by US President Joe Biden who is “turning the rust belt into an electric vehicle belt, creating good industrial jobs in former industrial areas and encouraging companies to invest in the US”.

She told Sunday’s Laura Kuenssberg program: “I’d like to see some of that action here in the UK.

“Right now it feels like we’re in the locker room when other countries are in the global race and we’re going to miss this investment, miss this investment, in carbon capture and storage, offshore floating wind, green steel, greener Hydrogen.”

The Shadow Chancellor warned that if the UK does not invest in these industries, it could be importing electric vehicles, steel, hydrogen and electricity in 10 years.

Conservatives said Ms Reeves’ comments on spending were an admission that Labor “would burden our children and grandchildren with insurmountable debt”. Starmer urges Hunt to get Britain off ‘path of controlled decline’ ahead of budget

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