There are times narratives seem to be dominated by declinists – but I have to say I disagree with them. As shown by the Office for National Statistics, our economy is bigger than before the pandemic and recovered from it much faster than Germany amongst other countries.
This week I met the CEO of Netflix because we have become Europe’s largest film and TV industry. We also have its largest life sciences sector, largest tech economy (and third biggest in the world) alongside one of its biggest renewable energy sectors.
The Investment Zones I announced in my Budget this year are designed to support those fastest growing industries – I visited our Sheffield one earlier this year which supports the advanced manufacturing sector, and this week I will be visiting some of the next ones to be announced.
But if we want these trends to continue, we need to make sure we are preparing for the economic and technological advances of the next century.
Rishi Sunak and I are determined to ensure that our economy grows sustainably– but that also means that our number one priority has to be to tackle inflation.
It is positive news that it has come down so much already but the job is not yet done. I will continue to do everything necessary to support the Bank of England because there can be no sustainably high growth unless inflation is stable and low.
My upcoming Autumn Statement is designed to tackle the question of how we then generate that growth head on.
Over the past few weeks, my Treasury officials have been presenting me with the ‘scorecard’, which is essentially a massive spreadsheet that tells me how much each measure will cost and how they will affect economic growth and inflation.
I have also been making my final submissions to the Office for Budget Responsibility (the ‘OBR’) which is totally independent.
On the day of the Autumn Statement, they will make their own forecasts of the impact of my measures.
The result of our system is that Chancellors in the UK put ourselves under more stringent financial discipline than finance ministers in many other countries. But the benefit is that when I get up in Parliament, the public know my forecasts have been independently verified.
This will be an Autumn Statement for Growth. Fiscal events are some of the biggest days in the parliamentary calendar and a lot of eyes turn to Parliament on those occasions. Do join them for those growth measures to come next Wednesday, November 22!