UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has set five pledges for the year ahead, pledging to tackle major problems ranging from inflation to illegal immigration.
In his first major speech for 2023, Sunak acknowledged that many Britons look to the future “with trepidation” and promised to work “day and night” to improve the situation. did.
Speaking in Stratford, east London, on Wednesday, the Prime Minister made five promises that he said would “bring peace of mind” and provide “the foundation on which to build a better future for our children and grandchildren”.
The first three pledges are economic. Sunak has pledged to “halve inflation this year”, “grow the economy” and ensure that the UK government debt falls.
He also promised to reduce the National Health Service (NHS) waiting list to “ensure people get the care they need more quickly”.
In addition, Sunak vowed to stop illegal immigration, especially by small boats in the English Channel, by passing a new law that “if you come to this country illegally you will be detained and promptly removed”.
“We will rebuild trust in politics through action,” he said.
“I assure you that your priorities will become mine,” said Sunak. “I pledge to be honest about the challenges we face. increase.
“I promise only what I can deliver, and I deliver what I promise.”
“ASAP” Tax Cuts
Sunak has promised to reduce the tax burden as soon as possible.
The Conservative leader has overturned the economic policies of his predecessor, Liz Truss, since taking office in October. His ill-fated ‘mini-budget’ promised massive tax cuts on government borrowing, rocking financial markets and sending the pound plummeting. It will fall sharply against the dollar, leading to higher borrowing costs for both the government and UK households.
Finance Minister Jeremy Hunt said in his fall budget statement filed in November that the budget decision would lead to “significant tax increases”.
However, in his New Year’s speech, Sunak said:
Responding to reporters’ questions after his speech, he said work is “really important” because it “gives people purpose, dignity and confidence.”
“It is a blessing and a reward, and as soon as we are able to do that, we want to reduce taxes for working people. We have a set of challenges, and those are our priorities.”
Improving math literacy
Sunak also announced that it will tackle low mathematics literacy rates by ensuring that students in all schools in England learn some form of mathematics before they turn 18.
He stressed the importance of improving mathematics competence and promised to make it a central goal of the British education system.
He told the audience: Every opportunity I’ve had in life started with the education I was lucky enough to have. The most important reason I stepped into politics is to give every child the highest possible standard of education. ”
Prime Minister said: Now from the age of 16 he is only half of 19-year-olds who have not studied mathematics at all. But in a world where data is ubiquitous and statistics underpin all jobs, kids’ jobs will require analytical skills more than ever. And throwing them out into the world without those skills lets them down. ”
“Imagine what better computing power would unlock for people: the skills to feel confident about their financial situation, the skills to find the best mortgage deal, the skills to do a better job and get paid more.” ability, and greater confidence to navigate a changing world.” he added.
Despite his promises, the prime minister refused to give a time frame for the execution.
After being questioned by reporters, Sunak said he deliberately decided not to set a specific timeframe for the pledge.
he said: Those are also out of my control.
“We’ve seen it over the past year or two. And what do you want to offer for the country?”
In response to the speech, opposition Labor Party deputy leader Angela Rayner described Sunak as a “do-nothing prime minister” who was “too weak to stand up to his own party and vested interests”.
“That means he can’t make big decisions to put the country first, from housing and planning laws to closing tax avoidance loopholes,” she added.
“For weeks, this speech was touted as his big vision,” she said. “Now he has delivered it. The state has a right to ask. Is that it?”
PA Media contributed to this report.