DAILY MAIL COMMENT: It's time to get serious about growth, Rishi
DAILY MAIL COMMENT: It’s time to get serious about growth, Rishi
Boris Johnson won a thumping election victory by persuading traditional Labour supporters behind the Red Wall to overcome their reservations and vote Tory.
Promising to bring prosperity to these left-behind regions (‘levelling up’, as he put it), he gave hope to some of the country’s most disadvantaged communities.
To accelerate this regeneration, the Government has handed £3.8billion to towns and cities neglected for far too long.
But with depressing predictability, Labour has accused the Conservatives of pork-barrel politics – offering cynical inducements for electoral advantage – and giving the wealthier South East more than the poorer North and Midlands.
Yes, the Prime Minister is determined to get Britain’s finances on an even keel. But the less firms are saddled with punitive levies and red tape, the more enterprise flourishes – and the more revenue the Treasury receives. It’s not rocket science
As ever, the Opposition’s complaints disintegrate under the slightest scrutiny.
There are deprived corners of all regions. And if the grants are analysed without bias, the industrial heartlands are the biggest winners. New Labour left them to rot.
However, while new research labs or arts venues are all very well, this is levelling up Treasury-style – simply shifting around cash. If Rishi Sunak seriously wants to end economic imbalance, he must have a grand vision, and pump billions into large projects such as transport links and housing – and not be stymied by the Whitehall blob.
The best way to level up is to turbocharge growth. After all, a rising tide lifts all boats.
Yet, as leading entrepreneurs tell the Mail, the Government’s short-sighted policies – including eye-wateringly high taxes and suffocating regulations – are driving away business, investment and job creation.
Yes, the Prime Minister is determined to get Britain’s finances on an even keel. But the less firms are saddled with punitive levies and red tape, the more enterprise flourishes – and the more revenue the Treasury receives. It’s not rocket science.
Of course, the Tories will struggle to draft a coherent industrial strategy if they change prime ministers every two minutes.
There are less than two years until the election. If they cannot solve the problem and make the nation more prosperous by then, they’ll be out of power for decades.
A disaster in waiting
With the Tories floundering, Sir Keir is trying to convince voters that Labour is a serious government in waiting. A disaster in waiting more like.
First, he says if he was PM there would be no new investment in North Sea oil and gas. But that would leave our energy security at the mercy of global market shocks and the whim of tyrants such as Putin.
He insists Labour would not risk the UK’s finances, yet his frontbench has announced £45billion in unfunded spending. And three of his MPs shamefully shared a platform with a violent transgender ex-prisoner who has called for JK Rowling’s death.
Run the country? Labour isn’t even fit to run a whelk stall.
With the Tories floundering, Sir Keir is trying to convince voters that Labour is a serious government in waiting. A disaster in waiting more like
Britain’s call to arms
The UK has led the world by arming Ukraine against the Russian invaders.
Now, after pledging Challenger tanks, the Defence Secretary is urging Germany to send advanced Leopard II tanks to the front line – or let other Nato allies do so.
German chancellor Olaf Scholz has been reluctant to act for fear of antagonising Putin. But he must understand that providing President Zelensky’s forces with tanks is the quickest way to defeat Russian tyranny – and bring about peace.
Customers are already pushed to breaking point by banks, energy firms and others using automated messages to field queries. Now HMRC will answer routine calls by text – sparking fears of yet more dismal service. Not only could this be a goldmine for scammers. If someone needs help with sensitive tax matters, they want to speak to a person – not a robot.
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