UK Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi pledges to take control of inflation

New chancellor set to assure City of London that government is dealing with 'task in hand'

Chancellor of the Exchequer Nadhim Zahawi. Getty
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In his first speech as Chancellor of the Exchequer, Nadhim Zahawi is expected to reassure the City of London that the government will get inflation back under control.

In a speech to the City, Mr Zahawi will say the country should be “confident” the government can get a handle on inflation as the cost-of-living pressure on households continues to bite.

He will also promise that the government is dealing with the “task in hand”, early released excerpts of his speech show.

The recently installed chancellor, fresh from his ill-fated bid to become Conservatives leader, will deliver the speech as the remaining candidates to replace Boris Johnson clash over proposed tax cuts.

Mr Zahawi's priorities for the coming months will be to control inflation, create the conditions for a private-sector recovery and a “post-Brexit vision” for the financial services industry.

“That means delivering sound public finances to avoid pushing up demand still further, providing help for households as they deal with the worst price rises in over a generation, and where we can, easing the supply constraints that are the underlying cause of high inflation,” he will say.

“The country should feel confident that we can, and we will, get inflation back under control.”

Seizing the opportunities created by Brexit will also dominate the speech.

“Our objective is clear: we want to make sure the UK remains the most open, inclusive, welcoming, competitive, safe and transparent place to do financial services business in the world,” Mr Zahawi will say.

He will also commit to repealing “hundreds of pieces of retained EU law and replacing them with a coherent and agile approach to financial regulation that is right for us”.

Among those reforms will be changed regulatory requirements for insurance companies and groups to ensure “UK insurers have more flexibility to invest in long-term assets like infrastructure”, and to increase “the competitiveness of our capital markets”.

“That’s how we’ll maintain our position as one of the most dynamic financial centres in the world,” Mr Zahawi will say.

He will stress that, despite the “short-term uncertainty” caused by Mr Johnson’s resignation as Tory leader, the work of the government continues, pledging “stability, reassurance and continuity”.

“We are steadying the ship. We are stabilising the economy. We are getting on with the task at hand,” Mr Zahawi is expected to say.

“I know where the best ideas, the most effective delivery, the new growth and the new jobs are going to come from, the wealth creators and risk takers.

“So our top priority must be to grow the economy by unleashing the power of enterprise – to create the conditions for business to invest, innovate and grow.”

Updated: July 18, 2022, 9:30 PM
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