When Prime Minister Rishi Sunak came into office, he made five key promises to the British people. One of them was to half inflation, and I am very pleased that we are making very good progress under his leadership. Here are some of the measures we have taken, to cut inflation and reduce the cost-of-living pressures which many people are struggling with. We have reduced inflation to 8.7 percent this week showing progress on our promise to halve inflation by the end of the year. The rate of inflation is the change in prices for goods and services over time and rises when things get more expensive. This week the ONS confirmed the headline rate of CPI (inflation) stood at 8.7 percent, a 1.4 percent decrease, reaching single figures for the first time since August 2022 – meaning the price of goods are lowering. Government schemes paid half of people’s energy bills over the winter reducing one of the biggest outgoings for families and tackling inflation head-on. Putin’s war in Ukraine is driving energy prices up across the globe which, in turn, is driving up the rate of inflation and therefore the cost we pay for day-to-day goods. At the Spring Budget 2023, we delivered the thirteenth consecutive freeze to fuel duty, saving motorists £200 since the five-pence cut was introduced. By reducing the cost people pay for their fuel we are holding down energy prices and therefore preventing inflation from spiraling
Importantly, we have maintained a strong workforce, with unemployment near record lows, whilst delivering a labour market package to get more people into work. The number of payrolled employees is now higher than pre-pandemic levels. This means more people are contributing to the economy, without an unreasonable reliance on the state – allowing us to tackle inflation. Responsible management of the public finances and resisting above-inflation pay rises has allowed the Bank of England to navigate global headwinds such as inflation. The Bank of England welcomed the steps we have taken to stabilise public finances, including avoiding agreeing to above-inflation pay rises across the public sector – meaning they were able to predict inflation to halve by the end of the year. Inflation is the number one enemy that makes everyone poorer. As we make progress to halve the rate of inflation by the end of the year we have a £94 billion package of cost-of-living support in place – an average of £3,300 per household on average. This includes additional payments to vulnerable households.
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