Rishi Sunak insists UK will not return to austerity
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Chancellor Rishi Sunak has promised that the UK will “absolutely” not return to austerity. The pledge came after new figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) released on Thursday showed the British economy has grown by 4.8 percent in the second quarter of the year. When asked about how No.10 will fund social care and climate change commitments, Mr Sunak said the economy is recovering well.
He told Sky News: “Well, the economy is recovering and it’s recovering well.
“I think when it comes to the spending review over the autumn which we will do, what we’re going to see is absolutely no return to austerity.
“People are going to see very strong investment in public services over the course of this Parliament for context.”
Mr Sunak continued: “By the end, we’ll be spending 100 billion pounds a year more every year than we did at the beginning.
“That’s why we’re going to be able to have 50,000 more nurses 20,000 more police officers 40 new hospitals and roll out things like broadband across the country to spread opportunity.
“And that’s what we were elected to deliver and that’s what we’re getting on and doing.”
The UK’s gross domestic product (GDP) is estimated to have increased by 4.8 percent from April to June following the easing of coronavirus restrictions, the Office for National Statistics reported this morning.
Education has also boosted the economy since schools reopened in the second quarter as well.
However, the GDP is now 4.4 percent below the pre-pandemic level.
The figure is below the 5 percent the Bank of England expected.
The main driver of economic growth was consumer spending, which rose by 7.3 percent over the quarter.
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In May, customers were allowed indoors in pubs, restaurants and cafes.
Sandra Horsfield, an economist with Investec, said confidence among consumers and businesses was likely to build over time as long as there was no return to lockdowns.
“How smooth the transition will be is the big unknown, with perhaps the biggest question marks hanging over the performance of the labour market once the furlough scheme fully ends in late September,” she said.
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