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Economic Growth Forecasts: 2024 and 2025

Volume 745: debated on Tuesday 6 February 2024

6. What recent assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of economic growth forecasts for 2024 and 2025. (901362)

We announced 110 growth measures in the autumn statement. Taken together with the measures in the spring Budget, the independent Office for Budget Responsibility says that they will have the biggest impact on output that it has ever measured in a fiscal event, increasing GDP by 0.5% by 2028-29.

The UK economy is set for slower growth than previously thought. The International Monetary Fund predicts that next year we will have the second worst growth in the G7. In Scotland, the SNP has increased taxes, which we have heard about already, and Scots now face six bands. Stagnation there is even worse, and businesses and households in my constituency need reassurance. Will the Chancellor tell us what he will do to give confidence to people up and down the country that we will soon see economic growth?

May I gently correct the hon. Lady on the IMF? It said that over the next four years, UK growth will be higher than in Germany, France, Italy and Japan. I agree about SNP tax rises, but I point out that the Liberal Democrats have some tax rises of their own. They want to increase capital gains tax, which would be incredibly damaging for Scotland’s financial services industry, which employs thousands of people.

Has the Chancellor had the opportunity to look at the New Conservatives’ budget proposal, a budget for families? It has a six-point plan, with two points to help unlock growth, particularly for the many small, family-run businesses in places such as Stoke-on-Trent North, Kidsgrove and Talke. Those plans to increase the VAT registration threshold to £250,000 and to abolish the IR35 reforms would surely help us unlock the growth of our great nation.

I have been talking with my hon. Friend about these issues recently. In fact, we were discussing increasing the VAT threshold only last night—such are the interesting evenings I have in this job! We will look seriously and carefully at any measures that help small businesses. They are the lifeblood of the country.