There is no magic wand for growing the economy, says Starmer

Keir Starmer says he is ‘prepared to make enemies’ to boost the economy

Sir Keir Starmer has said he is prepared to make enemies to boost the economy, including driving through controversial planning applications.

In the latest in a series of BBC Panorama interviews with party leaders, the Labor leader denied wanting to wave a “magic wand” to prevent tax rises or public spending cuts to deliver on his election promises.

Sir Keir also told Nick Robinson that he was not “hostile” to people using private healthcare and ruled out membership of the European Union.

Meanwhile, speaking to reporters at the G7 summit in Italy, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he would “fight for every single vote until the last day”.

Asked why he thought opinion polls suggesting that some Tory voters were turning to UK Reform, Mr Sunak said “we are only halfway through this campaign”.

He also repeated his insistence that the Tories had a ‘tax cut manifesto’ while Labor would ‘raise your taxes’.

At the beginning of this week The launch of the Labor manifestoSir Keir said he was the party of economic growth and would drive wealth creation.

Nick Robinson suggested the party was trying to mask an £18 billion hole in Treasury funding – equivalent to 10% of the NHS budget – which would have to be filled either by tax rises or spending cuts to public services.

However, Sir Keir said he rejected the choice as simply being “boxed in” between tax and spending because there was another lever, which he said was growth.

“My manifesto is about wealth creation,” he said. “This is a celebration of wealth creation, of growth.

“So this boxing in what everyone is trying to do… that the only levers available to a Labor government or a Labor prime minister is to raise taxes or cut spending – I reject that – growth is the lever that I I intend to attract.”

Asked if he was trying to “wave the magic wand of growth”, Sir Keir said “it’s not a wand, it’s a plan” and described how Labor focused on how to remove the blocks to business needs that were getting in the way economic growth.

The Labor leader gave the example of a wind turbine that could be built in two years but would instead be held up by the planning process for five years – suggesting he would be willing to overlook objections to new developments.

Asked by Nick Robinson if he was prepared to make enemies to spur economic growth, Sir Keir replied: “Yes – we will have to be tough.

“We’re going to have to change the way things are done.”

Following first debate of the leaders, where Sir Keir said he would not use private healthcare himself under any circumstances, Mr. Robinson suggested there was some concern the Labor leader thought people doing it were “queue jumpers”.

“I am not hostile at all,” said Sir Keir. “I totally understand why people would go private… because they wanted to have surgery faster or get back to work or something.”

But he defended the NHS as the top performer in acute care, saying it was the “best place to be” for treating life-threatening illnesses, adding that private hospitals “refer to the NHS for acute care” for this reason.

UK can do better than Johnson’s ‘failed’ trade deal after Brexit – Starmer

On Brexit, Sir Keir was asked whether he wanted to rejoin the European Union, having campaigned for Remain and also calling for the option of a second referendum as shadow Brexit Secretary, before barring a re-entry last year.

The Labor leader ruled out reunification, saying he respected the vote and that EU membership was “not a silver bullet”.

Post-Brexit trade deals were “failed”, he said, and Labor would negotiate a better Brexit trade deal if it wins the July 4 general election, but many issues around growth can be fixed without undoing Brexit.

“I think we can do better than the failed deal we got under Boris Johnson,” he said. “I think every business thinks that.”

He added: “If you look at the problems for growth over the last 14 years, they were there, or a lot of them were there, before Brexit, so the idea that there’s sort of a single silver bullet is just the relationship with the EU . It’s not something I accept.”

At the G7, Mr Sunak said there was a clear choice between the two sides and he would “continue to fight hard to make sure everyone understands the choice in front of them”.

He claimed that electing Labor would give Sir Keir “a blank cheque” to raise taxes, while, if the Tories were re-elected, “we will be able to cut taxes for people at every stage of their lives “.

Turning to the only opinion poll that put Reform ahead of the Conservatives, the Prime Minister said the only poll that mattered was the one on July 4. Other polls have put the Tories ahead of Nigel Farage’s party.

Mr Sunak also pledged to stay on as an MP for a full five-year parliamentary term even if the Conservatives lose on July 4.

The BBC is interviewing all the main party leaders ahead of the election in Panorama Interviews with Nick Robinson. You can watch the interview with Sir Keir Starmer at 7.30pm on BBC One or BBC iPlayer.

A graphic that reads 'more on general election 2024'

#magic #wand #growing #economy #Starmer
Image Source : www.bbc.com

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top