Labour won't 'turn on the spending taps', Keir Starmer vows, as he warns 'Britain is going backwards'

4 December 2023, 15:07

Sir Keir Starmer is speaking at Resolution Foundation about the economy and next general election
Sir Keir Starmer is speaking at Resolution Foundation about the economy and next general election. Picture: Getty
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

Labour will not 'turn on the spending taps' if they are elected into power, Sir Keir Starmer has vowed.

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Speaking at the Resolution Foundation about the UK economy and the next general election, the Labour leader said that the Tory government's record will "constrain what a future Labour government could do".

Sir Keir said: "Anyone who expects an incoming Labour Government to quickly turn on the spending taps, is going to be disappointed.

"Inflation, debt, are now huge constraints. Of course, we will make different choices."

Britain's main opposition Labour Party leader Keir Starmer speaks at the Resolution Foundation Economy 2030 conference in London
Britain's main opposition Labour Party leader Keir Starmer speaks at the Resolution Foundation Economy 2030 conference in London. Picture: Getty

The Labour leader said his party would change the rules on non-domiciled residents claiming tax on their permanent place of residence abroad in order to cut NHS waiting lists.

He also said a future Labour government would remove tax breaks for private schools in order to reinvest back into education.

"But at the same time, we will be ruthless when it comes to spending every pound wisely," Sir Keir added.

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In his keynote speech at the Resolution Foundation, Sir Keir also said the UK is "entering a new area" and so must establish a new economic model in order to obtain growth.

Sir Keir said the era of hyper globalisation was over and that economic cooperation must be based on a country's security.

"This is a new era and we must establish — as other politicians have in the past — a new economic consensus," he said.

"With a different model of growth, a different set of values, and a different analysis of the state and its role in the economy.”

Sir Keir Starmer
Sir Keir Starmer. Picture: Getty

Earlier at the conference, the Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said the UK "mustn't lose confidence", as he argued the UK was operating with a "sprained ankle" rather than a "broken leg".

It follows new research which called for an overhaul in economic management in order to improve growth forecasts in the UK.

“If we are going to go into dealing with the sprained ankle rather than the broken leg, let’s do so from a perspective of positivity," the Chancellor said.

"We’ve got so much going for us and should have some optimism for the future. We have the most exciting prospects of any country in the world.”

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