Rishi Sunak’s five pledges to fix Britain are big targets – but how easy are they to hit?

Rishi Sunak says they will offer people “peace of mind” – Owl

Richard Vaughan inews.co.uk

Rishi Sunak has drawn up a list of five promises to the British public that he believes will improve people’s lives and public services in a bid to kick-start his premiership.

The Prime Minister said the pledges will offer people “peace of mind” as they enter 2023, which has already been dogged by strikes, record inflation and an NHS that is teetering on the brink of collapse.

But Mr Sunak’s five promises could easily be described as a wishlist, given the external forces that are buffeting the UK economy.

Here i looks at each of his “five foundations” and how achievable they will be for the Sunak administration.

1. “First, we will halve inflation this year to ease the cost of living and give people financial security.”

Forecasts have predicted that inflation will fall from its current rate of 10.7 per cent over the course of this year. The Bank of England has said it expects to see inflation will fall sharply by the middle of this year, as energy costs are unlikely to continue rising as high as it has over the last year and government support will help with this. The cost of imported goods is also expected to settle, while demand for goods and services will also fall due to higher interest rates. Whether inflation will be cut by half remains to be seen, as further flare-ups in Ukraine, another wave of Covid or China invading Taiwan could cause major shocks to the economy. If inflation is halved then Mr Sunak is likely to be claiming success for achievements that have little to do with his government.

Difficulty rating: 3/5

2. “Second, we will grow the economy, creating better-paid jobs and opportunity right across the country.”

If only other governments had thought of this. Prime ministers of all hues have promised to grow the economy and deliver better paid jobs, but if it was so easily done then the UK’s economy would not be among the most misfiring of OECD countries at the moment. Mr Sunak’s predecessor, Boris Johnson, based his entire administration on “levelling up” and spreading opportunity across the UK, while Liz Truss had a near maniacal focus on growth, but both failed. Indeed, analyses by Goldman Sachs says the UK economy will shrink by 1.2 per cent this year, while KPMG says it will contract by 1.3 per cent. This places the UK’s recession near or equal to Russia’s, which is currently facing major international sanctions.

Difficulty rating: 5/5

3. “Third, we will make sure our national debt is falling so that we can secure the future of public services.”

Crucially, Mr Sunak does not say when national debt will be falling, or by what measure. The OBR in its analysis of the Autumn Statement late last year predicted national debt to be falling as a share of the UK economy by 2027-28. This would be several years after the next election, after which the Conservatives could well be out of power.

Difficulty rating: 4/5

4. “Fourth, NHS waiting lists will fall and people will get the care they need more quickly.”

Again, Mr Sunak does not say by how much the NHS waiting lists will fall, nor does he say how quickly people will get the care they need. But many voters are likely to argue that getting NHS waiting lists down and speeding up care is the bare minimum that is expected from any government. Given people are currently being treated in ambulances, or even in cupboards due to overcrowding in hospitals, voters would be forgiven for thinking why this promise was not number one on his list.

Difficulty rating: 3/5

5. “Fifth, we will pass new laws to stop small boats, making sure that if you come to this country illegally, you are detained and swiftly removed.”

No 10 has previously said that fixing the small boats crisis was his number one priority after the economy, following the market meltdown caused by Liz Truss’s mini-budget. New laws to clampdown on the Channel crossings have been mooted for some time, but even as recently as this week, Downing Street has been unable to say when the new laws will be published. Much of the problem lies with the European Convention of Human Rights, of which the UK is a signatory, and any attempt to scrap the country’s obligations under the convention will spark a serious backlash from Tory MPs, opposition parties and in the Lords.

Difficulty rating: 4/5

2 thoughts on “Rishi Sunak’s five pledges to fix Britain are big targets – but how easy are they to hit?

  1. Climate emergency somewhere lower down the list maybe….

    Rish – let’s face it – you’re just not the man to take us anywhere. If you want to bounce about being PM, you must get a mandate first.

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  2. This is basically just aspirational hog wash. There are no supporting facts on how he expects to achieve these five foundations. Like all political speeches, if not supported with hard, factual evidence, able to be verified from credible public sources (rather than from unreliable main stream media) Then this speach, like the one from Keir Starmer, is really just another aspirational dream.

    Its rather like saying I have a goal to go on a journey to arrive in (say) Glasgow precisely at midday on Saturday, – when you dont even know where you are at present , -when you dont know what options you have available to achieve your goal, – as you also have no idea what each option will cost you cannot be certain that all of them are affordable, and finally, as you may not know what the current time is and you have no idea how long journey will take – how much confidence do you expect the public to have in you and your party?

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