Rishi Sunak leaves 10 Downing Street to attend the weekly session of Prime Ministers Questions in Parliament in London, Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2023. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
The Conservative Party has been mocked for creditting Rishi Sunak with bringing down inflation after the prime minister hit his “target”.
The prime minister is eyeing tax cuts after the Office for National Statistics announced last week that the rate of inflation plummeted to 4.6% in October, its lowest level in two years.
When Sunak made his promise to halve it at the start of this year, it stood at 10.7%.
However, the inflation rate is still more than double the Bank of England target of 2%.
There was always something artificial about the pledge – one of five Sunak set out at the start of his premiership. It was global forces driving inflation in the first place, specifically the world emerging from the pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and its sharp fall has been ascribed to tumbling global energy prices.
Even domestically, it is the Bank of England’s power to hike interest rates that is the major tool in curbing inflation, and the central bank has been independent of government control since the late-1990s.
But none of this hasn’t stopped the Conservative Party from attempting to grab some valour for its leader.
On the party’s official X account, it wrote: “We were told it wasn’t possible to halve inflation. But Rishi Sunak did it. Now we can cut taxes. Conservatives will always ensure hard work pays.”
Claims that it “wasn’t possible” and Sunak “did it” were soon rubbished.
No we weren't. We were repeatedly told that inflation was absolutely nothing to do with the government. https://t.co/5wLNp32voG
— Adam Kay (@amateuradam) November 20, 2023
Name one person who said it was impossible to halve inflation. https://t.co/5aDTd3r9oN
— Christopher Snowdon 🇺🇦 (@cjsnowdon) November 20, 2023
It was forecast to halve by the end of the year as huge energy price spikes dropped out of the inflation index & it was the Bank of England’s job to deliver the inflation reduction using interest rate rises #RishiDidntDoIthttps://t.co/pbydki1Cct
— Angela Eagle DBE (@angelaeagle) November 20, 2023
Who by? Didn't everybody with Economics 101 think this was the easy one of the five? And doesn't everybody know that the reduction's virtually all down to higher interest rates and global trends? https://t.co/VI3hlfMyq8
— Tim Bale (@ProfTimBale) November 20, 2023
Every forecast I read at the time said inflation would halve by the end of 2023! I can’t think of a govt policy that has helped that natural process though it might cite not giving large pay rises to,public sector workers though the market did do that by itself for others. https://t.co/uGWwiR1fjW
— Paul Lewis (@paullewismoney) November 20, 2023
We were told that rising inflation had nothing to do with the government. By you, in fact. https://t.co/YPh9MlKJfX
— Nick Pettigrew (@Nick_Pettigrew) November 20, 2023
Bank of England target is 2% https://t.co/KcY4ndBlFe
— Steve Hawkes (@steve_hawkes) November 20, 2023
This week chancellor Jeremy Hunt will set out government tax and spending plans ahead of next year’s general election.
In a speech on Monday morning in London, the prime minister said the government would now “turn our attention to cutting taxes”.
It has been variously reported Hunt could cut inheritance tax, income taxes or national insurance.