‘Everything is heading in the right direction’, says Rishi Sunak after inflation fall

Rishi Sunak has welcomed the fall in the rate of inflation as a “major milestone”, while admitting there was “more work to do”.

The rate of consumer price index inflation dropped to 2.3 per cent in April — the lowest in nearly three years, according to official data published by the Office for National Statistics this morning.

Inflation is at a low not seen since July 2021, the ONS said, and now just above the 2 per cent target set by the Bank of England and central banks across the world.

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Reacting to the fall in inflation, the prime minister said: “I understand that people are only just starting to feel the benefits of the improvements that we have made and that will take time for people to really feel them.

“But what we are now seeing is that everything is heading in the right direction.”

He added: “The economy grew in the first quarter of this year, faster than France, Germany and America.

“Wages have been rising faster than prices for almost a year now, energy bills are down hundreds of pounds now from where they were, mortgage rates are down from the peak and today’s news on inflation being back to normal is very welcome.

“If you put all of that together it shows we have got momentum, it shows that the plan is working but of course there is more work to do for people to really feel the benefits of all these things.

“That is why it is important that we stick to the plan. As I have said, these things don’t happen by accident.”

However, shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves said that “now is not the time” for a “victory lap” after inflation fell to 2.3 per cent in April.

She said: “Now is not the time for Conservative ministers to be popping champagne corks and taking a victory lap.

“After 14 years of Conservative chaos families are worse off. Prices in the shops have soared, mortgage bills have risen and taxes are at a seventy year high.

Rishi Sunak is now putting family finances at risk again with his £46bn unfunded policy to abolish national insurance that will mean higher borrowing, higher taxes or the end of the state pension as we know it.

“It’s time for change. Labour’s first steps will deliver economic stability so we can grow our economy and keep taxes, inflation and mortgages as low as possible”.

Meanwhile, the Liberal Democrats said the government had presided over the “worst cost of living crisis in a generation” and today’s fall in inflation was therefore not a cause for celebration.

Sarah Olney, the party’s Treasury spokesman, said: “Nobody will be feeling any better off after today, with families still facing a £9 billion mortgage bombshell this year alone.

“Conservative Ministers cannot celebrate today after presiding over the worst cost of living crisis in a generation.

“The after shocks of this crisis will be felt for years to come, and the blame lies squarely with this incompetent government.

“The Conservative Party should never again be trusted to manage the British economy.”

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