London, (Parliament Politics Magazine) – There is a clear choice in this leadership race between a Government that will be honest and open with you about the nation’s finances, or one whose economic plan is based on fantasy and make-believe. This hits to the heart of what this contest is all about: who you can trust to be an honest and responsible leader of the Conservative Party, and the country.
Whoever the Conservative Party membership elects on September 5th will face a series of immediate challenges. How can we tackle inflation? When will we clear the backlogs and put the NHS on a sound footing? What must be done to secure our borders? How can we restore fiscal discipline and sound money? What is the path to growth and lower taxes? The next Prime Minister needs to have a serious plan.
We need a leader who is not afraid to make tough decisions, and we need a leader who will always be honest with the public. That is true leadership.
I have a clear vision to rebuild our economy. My plan is simple: to get a grip of inflation, grow the economy and cut taxes. Inflation is the enemy of us all because it makes everybody poorer, and unfunded tax cuts would only serve to make inflation worse. My plan will deal with inflation and importantly, put money back into your pockets with tax cuts that last.
As Chancellor, I responded swiftly and successfully to the last major crisis that faced the UK. In March 2020, the pandemic was taking hold and with it came massive uncertainty for British businesses and jobs. Within a matter of days I responded with the furlough scheme that saved over 11.5 million jobs and enabled us to have the fastest growth out of any country in the G7 in 2021.
As Conservatives, if we deliver, we will rebuild trust. I am determined to deliver for people by reducing the NHS backlogs. We need to put power back into the hands of patients and establish a vaccine style taskforce with a remit to cut bureaucracy and waste and drive radical reforms to get waiting lists falling next year.
We also need to put power back into the hands of those who know their communities best. Whether that is to do with planning for more homes or delivering social care, we need to give community leaders the power and autonomy to make positive decisions for their local area. I will ensure that areas that want further powers transferred from Westminster have them, and that local Councils have the tools and resources they need to build beautiful new homes with local consent and to provide exceptional public services.
The next leader will also face immediate global challenges. We must open our eyes to the threats we face, and take immediate action to protect our way of life. I believe the UK must defend Western values and protect our national infrastructure in the strictest terms. I will do whatever it takes to protect our national interests and security against those who threaten our country.
Leadership is not about making the easy decisions, but about making the tough ones too. I have shown throughout my political career that I am willing to take the difficult decisions when they are in the country’s interest. I am the candidate who can restore trust, rebuild our economy and reunite the country.
Rishi Sunak MP has been the Member of Parliament for Richmond since 2015. He became Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Local Government in 2018 and Chief Secretary to the Treasury after the 2019 leadership election. He became Chancellor in 2020.
Prior to entering politics, Rishi had a successful career in finance. He is married to Akshata and has two daughters, Krishna and Anoushka.