The UK public finances have reached a turning point. I am delighted that our economy will continue to grow and the jobs market will continue to thrive.
The Chancellor’s outlook showed that wages will rise faster than previously expected, with wages growing faster than prices in each year and reaching 3.3% growth in 2023.
Our economy will continue to grow at 1.2% this year, faster than Germany. We have seen continued good news relating to job creation and the Chancellor’s statement indicated that employment will continue to rise, with 600,000 more jobs by 2023. This will mean there will be 4.1 million more people in work by 2023 compared with 2010.
Public finances are being returned to an even keel. The deficit will be £3 billion lower than expected this year, down to just 1.1% of GDP. Debt is also on a sustained downward path for the first time in a generation. This is in stark contrast to the condition of the public finances in 2010.
This is a solid foundation on which to build Britain’s economic future. All of this means that we can increase our support for the public services we all rely on. This includes £100 million of new funding to tackle knife crime and financing our precious NHS.
The government is investing in the infrastructure, skills and new technologies which will shape the global economy. This will cement our position as a destination for new technology. We are also investing £3 billion in a new Affordable Homes Guarantee Scheme to deliver around 30,000 affordable homes.
There is also an emphasis on clean growth. We are leading the world in enhancing biodiversity and reducing our dependency on natural gas by increasing the proportion of green gas in our system. This will mean we leave our economy and planet in a better condition than we found it.
Ensuring we have a strong economy is the foundation of a system that has the strength to allow people to get on and the compassion to help where help is needed.