Tory party conference

Sunak commits to support firms and balance books

Chancellor Rishi Sunak today said he won’t stop trying to find ways to support people and businesses, but added that his party remains committed to balancing the books.

Delivering his first conference speech as Chancellor he pledged to use the “overwhelming might of the British state” to support communities and businesses through a second Covid wave.

But he warned, there is not an “easy cost-free answer” to coronavirus and said “hard choices are everywhere”.

He added: “If this moment is more difficult than any you have ever faced, even if it feels like there is no hope, I am telling you that there is, and that the overwhelming might of the British state will be placed at your service.”

While offering no new supporting measures, he said the government would “keep striving to be creative” on employment support, but he would also have to be “pragmatic”.

He told members that “no chancellor” would be able to save every job or business, adding changes to the economy due to Covid-19 “can’t be ignored”.

The Chancellor also told of his aim to balance the books, despite the pandemic.

He said: “We will protect the public finances, over the medium-term getting our borrowing and debt back under control.

“We have a sacred responsibility to future generations to leave the public finances strong, and through careful management of our economy, this Conservative Government will always balance the books.


“If instead we argue there is no limit on what we can spend, that we can simply borrow our way out of any hole, what is the point in us?

“I have never pretended there is some easy, cost-free answer. Hard choices are everywhere.”

He said those who criticised the Prime Minister did not see the work he puts in behind the public glare.

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“I’ve seen up close the burden the prime minister carries. We all know he has an ability to connect with people in a way few politicians manage. It is a special and rare quality.

“But what the commentators don’t see, the thing I see, is the concern and care he feels for people every day, for the wellbeing of every person in our country.

“Yes, it’s been difficult, challenges are part of the job, but on the big calls, in the big moments, Boris Johnson has got it right and that is the leadership that we need.”

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