Chancellor to call for ‘new culture of enterprise’ as he sets out his vision for UK prosperity

Chancellor to call for ‘new culture of enterprise’ as he sets out his vision for UK prosperity

  • Chancellor Rishi Sunak will set out his vision for a lower tax, dynamic market economy, when delivering his first major speech at the annual Mais lecture tomorrow.
  • Setting out his economic vision the Chancellor resolves to ‘create the conditions for private businesses and individuals to thrive’.
  • Dismissing the claim ‘tax cuts always pay for themselves’ the Chancellor will argue for sustainable tax cuts to turbocharge UK growth.

In his lecture to the Bayes Business School (formerly known as Cass Business School), he will underscore the benefits of sustainable tax cuts, saying:
‘I firmly believe in lower taxes.
‘The most powerful case for the dynamic market economy is that it brings economic freedom and prosperity. And the best expression of that freedom is for all of us to be able to make decisions about how to save, invest or use the money we earn.
‘The marginal pound our country produces is far better spent by individuals and businesses than government.’
The Chancellor will emphasise the importance of cutting taxes responsibly, saying:
‘I am going to deliver a lower tax economy but I am going to do so in a responsible way, and in a way that tackles our long term challenges.’
He will challenge the idea that taxes should be cut even where that would leave spending pressures unfunded, saying:
‘I am disheartened when I hear the flippant claim that ‘tax cuts always pay for themselves’. They do not.
‘Cutting tax sustainably requires hard work, prioritisation, and the willingness to make difficult and often unpopular arguments elsewhere.’
He will also defend his firm belief in the market economy, saying:
‘As a machine for innovation and growth the free market is positively correlated with almost everything we imagine is desirable for humanity: higher living standards, greater wellbeing, longer lives lived in greater leisure, freedom and peace.’
The Chancellor’s comments will form part of his overall vision for a better economy which involves boosting growth and productivity.
At the Mais lecture tomorrow he will set out his priorities to achieve that. He is expected to say:
‘Capital. People. Ideas. Three priorities to deliver higher productivity, tied with one golden thread: that what government does is far less important than creating the conditions for private businesses and individuals to thrive.’
Growth in all three of these areas are already being supported by the government, with public sector net investment reaching its highest sustained level as a proportion of GDP since the 1970s, dramatically improved school and university performance in recent years and improvements to access to finance through initiatives like British Patient Capital, the Future Fund and reforming Solvency II.

Further information

  • The Chancellor will deliver his Mais lecture tomorrow (24 February) at 12.30pm at the Bayes Business School at City, University of London.
  • The annual Mais lecture is regarded as the City of London’s foremost event for the banking and finance community, and is attended by senior practitioners and academics. Since its inception in 1978, the Mais has maintained a tradition of prestigious speakers including Mark Carney, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, Mervyn King and George Osborne. The last lecture took place in January 2021 with Anneliese Dodds MP.
  • Pictures of the Chancellor rehearsing his Mais lecture will be available on the HMT Flickr page from about 6.30pm today (23 February).
  • You can register to watch the Mais lecture via zoom.
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