'Increasing workers wages would cause the greatest unkindness to everyone', says Defence Minister

4 January 2023, 17:43 | Updated: 4 January 2023, 17:51

Madeleine Wilson

By Madeleine Wilson

Defence Minister Alex Chalk says increasing wages would make Brits "poorer" in the long term by causing a "wage-price spiral".

Tom Swarbrick spoke to Defence Minister Alex Chalk after Rishi Sunak unveiled a five-point plan to put the country back on track for 2023, promising “no tricks” and “no ambiguity” as part of his proposals.

The announcement marks Sunak’s first major speech of 2023, urging the public to judge his premiership as PM on the key targets outlined and the “effort we put in”.

Mr Chalk said: "The key thing the government is going to do is ensure that addressing issues such as wage inflation what we don't do is bake in a situation where you have a wage spike spiral.

"That means having to make difficult but fair decisions," The minister said, referring to one of Mr Sunak's promises that he will halve inflation by the end of this year.

Read more: PM's five pledges for Britain: Halve inflation, grow economy, slash debt, cut NHS waits and tackle channel migrants

Tom Swarbrick said the assumption of Inflation halving by the end of next year has been predicted by the Bank of England and most economists.

Tom suggested: "So is this a case of the Prime Minster saying: 'We agree with those forecasts and we aren't going to do anything including giving nurses, teachers, possibly doctors a big wage rise in order to carry out what the bank expects to happen anyway'?"

Tom Swarbrick delivers an in-depth analysis of Rishi Sunak's 'odd' speech today

Read more: 'It would have been an utter waste of my time': Nick Ferrari ridicules Sunak's plan for pupils to study maths up to 18

Alex Chalk continued to tell Tom that increasing wages, it will make "everyone poorer" in the long term.

He said: "It's the greatest destroyer of all - as Margret Thatcher - said and I think that's why the government is right to bare down on inflation."

Mr Clark went on to tell Tom: "If wages were to increase that would provide an additional boost to something that is already on its way down and that would be the greatest unkindness to everyone."

"People do not trust you to deliver what you say you can deliver," Tom Swarbrick told the minister.

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