Economic Growth

Treasury – in the House of Commons am ar 14 Tachwedd 2023.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Chris Elmore Chris Elmore Opposition Whip (Commons)

What recent assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the economic growth rate.

Photo of Jeremy Hunt Jeremy Hunt The Chancellor of the Exchequer

Our policies are increasing economic growth, as the Office for Budget Responsibility confirmed following last year’s autumn statement and the spring Budget, but the only way to secure higher, sustainable, long-term growth is to bring down inflation.

Photo of Chris Elmore Chris Elmore Opposition Whip (Commons)

The OBR judged the Chancellor’s last Budget to have no overall long-term impact on the level of potential productivity. Does he expect the OBR to make a similar judgment of his next Budget?

Photo of Jeremy Hunt Jeremy Hunt The Chancellor of the Exchequer

I remind the hon. Gentleman of what the OBR actually said about the spring Budget:

“the overall impact on GDP is around 0.2 per cent in 2027-28. This is the largest upward revision we have made to potential output within our five-year forecast as a result of fiscal policy decisions taken by a Government”.

Photo of Martin Vickers Martin Vickers Ceidwadwyr, Cleethorpes

Economic growth in northern Lincolnshire will be severely impacted if changes go ahead at British Steel’s Scunthorpe works, which will result in redundancies and a massive impact on the supply chain. Will my right hon. Friend give an assurance that the Government will not proceed with any support for those changes until a full economic assessment of the impact on the local area has been carried out?

Photo of Jeremy Hunt Jeremy Hunt The Chancellor of the Exchequer

I thank my hon. Friend and, indeed, my hon. Friend Holly Mumby-Croft for their extensive lobbying on this very important issue. I have had meetings with him and her, and with many others, to discuss it. I reassure him that we are absolutely committed to steel production in the United Kingdom, and to making sure that any changes that are necessary support the local communities that depend on steel production.

Photo of Darren Jones Darren Jones Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury

I welcome the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Laura Trott to her place. I look forward to holding her to account.

Last month, the Chancellor’s National Infrastructure Commission said that in order to unlock the billions of pounds of private investment that is available to get our economy growing, we need a Government who can “make good decisions, fast.” Why does the Chancellor think his Government have been making bad decisions slowly for quite so long?

Photo of Jeremy Hunt Jeremy Hunt The Chancellor of the Exchequer

It might help the hon. Gentleman if I tell him some of the facts on infrastructure. Since we made some reforms to the asset pooling framework in 2015, UK and global infrastructure investment by pension funds has grown from £1 billion to around £27 billion, and the Solvency 2 reforms could potentially unlock a further £100 billion-worth of investment.

Photo of Darren Jones Darren Jones Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury

That, Mr Speaker, was a list of very slow decisions still being badly taken. The Labour party has a raft of plans available to help drive economic growth and investment in every corner of our country, from speeding up the grid to accelerating planning for critically important infrastructure. Today, I am making them available to the Chancellor for free. Would he like them, or would he rather call a general election?

Photo of Jeremy Hunt Jeremy Hunt The Chancellor of the Exchequer

Unfortunately, nothing is free from the Labour party. Funding plans by increasing borrowing by £28 billion a year leads to higher bills for families, higher energy prices and higher mortgages.