The UK should become the highest growth economy in the G7, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has said, as he unveiled a package of national missions.
Speaking in Manchester this morning, Sir Keir revealed a set of five ambitions for the country, with a general election expected to take place in the next 18 months.
It comes as the UK has been widely predicted to have the lowest growth in the G7 after the pandemic, energy crisis and the economic meltdown during Liz Truss’ leadership.
As well as economic growth, Starmer’s pledges are focused on the NHS, crime, education and opportunity and clean energy.
He called for the UK to “secure the highest sustained growth in the G7 with good jobs [and] productivity growth in every part of the country”, describing his ambition as “growth that makes everyone, not just a few, better off”.
Labour’s other campaign pledges are to “build an NHS fit for the future”; “make Britain’s streets safe”; “break down the barriers to opportunity at every stage”; and “make Britain a clean energy superpower”.
Mission four – break down the barriers to opportunity at every stage, for every child – aims to do so by reforming childcare, reforming education, raising standards everywhere and preparing young people for work and life.
Starmer said the missions are intended to provide “a clear set of priorities” and “a long-term plan to unlock Britain’s pride and purpose”. They will form the outline of Labour’s election manifesto, the party says.
But opponents have criticised Starmer’s plans, with left-wing Jeremy Corbyn-backing group Momentum claiming the pledges that won him the leadership are in “tatters”.
Conservative party chairman Greg Hands accused the Labour leader of being willing to “say anything if the politics suit him”.
He said: “He lacks principles and has no new ideas – and that is how we know a Starmer Labour government would just revert to the same old Labour habits of spending too much, raising taxes and increasing debt.”
It follows a speech by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in January in which he made five promises to the electorate, vowing to halve inflation; grow the economy; see national debt falling; cut NHS waiting lists; and pass new laws to stop small boat crossings.