The Chancellor, Nadim Zahawi, delivered his Mansion House speech last night, speaking of the global fight against inflation, the need for private sector growth and the critical role of financial services.
Kay Brookes, partner at Bates Weston takes a look at the content of the speech.
His main priority is stabilising the economy by delivering a coordinated approach to controlling inflation, creating the conditions for private sector recovery and working in partnership with the financial services sector.
Mr Zahawi acknowledges the significant role that the Bank of England plays in curbing inflation, but accepts that the Government also has a role to play. It seeks to award public sector pay rises in line with Independent Pay Review bodies without making inflationary pressures worse, to encourage those who left the labour market during the pandemic to return to work, will look again at a competitive migration regime, and enact its energy security strategy.
He repeated the commitment to a pro-business, pro-growth economy that allows businesses to invest, innovate and create jobs.
And, as he was addressing the financial services sector, he made much of the landmark legislation to be introduced today – the Financial Services and Markets Bill. The Bill includes far reaching reform to UK financial regulation, returning it to UK expert independent regulators, creating a better, safer system for consumers. The regulators are also charged with facilitating growth and competitiveness.
Along with the Economic Crime Bill, Online Safety Bill and efforts to attract green finance, the Chancellor hopes to see the sector become more open, green, competitive and technologically advanced.
Mr Zahawi also acknowledges that his tenure may be short lived, but in speaking of the opportunity he has been given, he addressed his final remarks, made to the Lord Mayor.
“By this time next year, many of you will perhaps have forgotten me. But let me assure you, this Iraqi immigrant will never forget you or the honour of addressing you as Chancellor.
This is the only country on Earth where that could be possible, which is why I love this country and I am proud my children and grandchildren will grow up here.
My Lord Mayor, at least you have a year. If I only have a few months, rest assured this will be one of the greatest moments of my life.”
” Mr Zahawi acknowledges the workings of our democracy, and is treating his role with the respect it rightly deserves. The challenges the economy faces cannot be understated and whether it is Mr Zahawi or his successor, those challenges require urgent attention.”