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The Prime Minister's priorities

The Prime Minister’s priorities

“Last year the Prime Minister put in place five priorities to drive this country forward. Despite the challenges dealing with the legacy of Covid, the consequences of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the dangers of war in the Middle East, we have made progress on all five priorities.

“We have halved inflation, the economy outperformed expectations, debt is on track to fall, we’re making progress on waiting lists, and small boat crossings fell by over a third. The economy, our health service, and our border security are the most important issues facing the country this year, as they were last year, and we must go further. 

  • Halving inflation – inflation is down from 10.7 and wages are now rising faster than prices, easing cost of living pressures and allowing us to cut taxes. The IMF expect inflation to fall further to 2.2 per cent by the end of 2024 – lower than the euro area and the US. This was no accident – we took difficult but necessary decisions to control borrowing and public sector pay, supporting the Bank of England to do their job.
  • Growing the economy – the economy has done better than predicted and outperformed European neighbours like Germany, creating more jobs and opportunities and supporting our public services. In 2022, the OBR were predicting a year-long recession, but we have so far avoided that. Our policies are working.
  • Reducing debt – debt is on track to fall, delivering greater financial security for our country. In autumn 2022, debt was expected to rise to more than 104 per cent of GDP, which is why we took decisive action to get the public finances on a sustainable path. Since then, debt was revised down in each OBR forecast and is on track to fall as a percentage of GDP – meeting our fiscal rule to get it down. 
  • Cutting waiting lists – we eliminated the longest waits in the NHS and we’re making progress to cut waiting lists, as we make sure people get the care they need. Thanks to record investment, delivering over 200 new community diagnostic centres and surgical hubs, and more doctors and nurses, the NHS is carrying out more operations and procedures than ever before. We have also brought forward the first ever Long-Term Workforce Plan in the NHS’s 75-year history, allowing us to train more doctors and nurses here at home and rolling out better ways of working across the NHS.  
  • Stopping the boats – small boat crossings fell by more than a third last year for the first time since records began, as we crack down on the criminal gangs and control our borders. We are continuing to go further and a long-term solution requires a deterrent. People must know that if they come here illegally, they won’t get to stay, that’s why our flagship legislation means that anyone who arrives here illegally can no longer claim asylum.”