Compared with the G7, the UK had the highest rate of growth in each of the past two years. The International Monetary Fund UK growth forecast for 2023 has been upgraded by more than that for any other G7 country, and the IMF has said that the UK is “on the right track” for economic growth.
The Minister paints a pretty picture. The British people want hope for the future, but all they see is Britain continually lagging behind on the global stage and prospects for their families getting worse. The IMF says that Britain will have a smaller economy by the end of the year and the poorest growth of the G7 over this year and next. In March, UK inflation was the highest in western Europe, and projections show that it will be the highest in the G7 this year, while food prices are rising 50% faster than in the G7. Whose fault is it?
It is certainly the hon. Gentleman’s fault if, having asked that we assess performance across the G7 and we do precisely that, he does not like the answer. The reality is that across the G7, growth has fallen and inflation has risen, but we know the sources of that—it is not this Government; it is the fault of Putin and the global covid pandemic, whether the Opposition like it or not.
My hon. Friend is right to ignore the gloom and negativity coming from the Opposition Benches. They will always find a reason to talk down the British economy. Is it not the case that today, with more people in our country going out to work than ever before, our economy is demonstrating a dynamism and resilience that few other economies around the world can emulate and a dynamism that we do not get with a Labour Government?
My right hon. Friend is absolutely right. Resilience is a strong word, and thanks to the actions that this Government have taken over the past six months, the Office for Budget Responsibility has confirmed that the UK is now expected to avoid a recession this year.