Chancellor Rishi Sunak, has warned that there will be no “easy cost-free answer” as he has vowed to “balance the books” following COVID-19 relief spending
In his speech at the Conservative Party’s virtual conference, Rishi Sunak listed the various schemes that he has introduced in a bid to bolster the economy amid the current coronavirus pandemic.
He spoke of how the Conservative government “stood between the people and the danger and we always will”.
And Rishi Sunak promised that the “overwhelming might of the British state will be placed at your service” to those struggling financially, with ministers braced for millions to be left unemployed in the coming months.”
This comes after people might have been infected with COVID-19 as a result of nearly 16,000 positive coronavirus cases being missed from the government’s test and trace scheme, a cabinet minister has admitted.
But, hinting towards tax rises or spending cuts in the future, the chancellor had also used his noticeably short address to assure other members of the Conservative Party, that he would “protect the public finances”.
“We have a sacred responsibility to future generations to leave the public finances strong,” he added.
“And through careful management of our economy, this Conservative government will always balance the books.”
“If instead we argue there is no limit on what we can spend, that we can simply borrow our way out of any hole, what is the point in us?”
“I have never pretended there is some easy cost-free answer. Hard choices are everywhere.”
“I won’t stop trying to find ways to support people and businesses. I will always be pragmatic.”
Mr Sunak said it was “only because of 10 years of sound Conservative management of our economy” that he had been able to “act with the pace and scale we have in responding to coronavirus”.
The Chancellor promised to “not let talent wither, or waste, we will help all who want it, find new opportunity and develop new skills” during the economic recovery of the UK.
“I have always said I couldn’t protect every job or every business, no chancellor could,” the chancellor said.
“And even though I have said it, the pain of knowing it, only grows with each passing day.”
This comes after the UK’s benefits system is bracing for up to four million people becoming unemployed in the coming months, due to the economic fall-out of the COVID-19 crisis accelerating.
“So, I am committing myself to a single priority – to create, support and extend opportunity to as many people as I can.”
Mr Sunak said he would “keep listening, keep striving to be creative” in the coming months and to “not give up, no matter how difficult it is”.