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by Louise Wilson
04 October 2021
Economic recovery ‘comes with a cost’ says Rishi Sunak

Colin Fisher / Alamy Stock Photo

Economic recovery ‘comes with a cost’ says Rishi Sunak

The Chancellor has warned that economic recovery “comes with a cost”, adding the UK government will need to “fix our public finances” going forward.

Addressing the Conservative conference in Manchester, Rishi Sunak said the UK was seeing “one of the fastest recoveries of any major economy in the world”.

But he warned that “borrowing more money” was both “economically irresponsible” and “immoral” as it meant future generations would have to foot the bill.

It follows the end of the furlough scheme last week, which had supported over 11 million jobs in the last 18 months by paying a proportion of the wages of staff unable to work during the pandemic.

It is estimated one million workers were still in receipt of furlough when the scheme came to an end at the end of September.

Sunak told the conference the next steps in economic recovery would be “focused on good work, better skills and higher wages”, adding: “I believe that the only sustainable route out of poverty comes from having a good job.”

He confirmed the Kickstart scheme – aimed at helping young, unemployed people find work – would be extended into the new year.

The Chancellor also talked up the benefits of Brexit, suggesting it had brought a “renewed culture of enterprise” and a “willingness to take risks” in business.

And in a bid to become a “global leader” in AI technology, he announced the creation of 2,000 scholarships to help disadvantaged young people enter the field.

Sunak also criticsed Labour’s approach to the economy, describing it was a “desperately sad vision for our future”.

And on the party’s plans to increase National Insurance, he admitted tax rises were “un-Conservative”, but insisted “unfunded pledges” and “reckless borrowing” were worse.

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