PM urged to focus on ‘strong, jobs-led recovery’

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At a Cabinet awayday gathering in Stoke-on-Trent yesterday, the Prime Minister said promoting a high-pay, high employment economy was the “most important thing” in addressing the financial pressures on households. He also called for “radical” and “forward-thinking” ideas on how to support families and foster economic growth.

The PM told the Cabinet yesterday: “We’re going to use all our ingenuity, all our compassion, everything we need to do to help people through the difficult aftershocks of Covid and the inflationary pressures we are seeing, particularly on the cost of energy.” Mr Johnson chaired the meeting at a pottery factory to show manufacturing industry in the Midlands is bouncing back after the pandemic.

He also visited the Churchill China factory at Tunstall to hear the firm had recently taken on 300 extra straff.

Mr Johnson told his ministers: “I use this as an illustration of what is happening here in Stoke and also what else is happening in the country because the most extraordinary thing about the way the country came back from the covid pandemic was the strength of employment.”

The Prime Minister pointed out that unemployment was “back down to 3.8 percent” rather than hitting predicted levels of 12 to 14 percent.

He added: “That is the single most important thing that we need to be focussed on, a strong jobs-led recovery.”

Mr Johnson said that his Queen’s Speech programme would give the Government “legislative firepower” to tackle the root causes of rising prices.

He said: “Infrastructure, education, technology and those are the things that we need to do – particularly helping the cost of energy; making our streets safer, so that businesses have the confidence to invest and to grow.

“That is how we will put on more jobs, that is how we will improve the skills of our population.

“And that is how we will get the virtuous cycle that we will need to take the country through this.”

He added: “So, no lack of resource and compassion now.

“I am encouraged by some of the things I am seeing here in Stoke. And I’m encouraged by the growth figures I’ve seen this morning.”

Yesterday Health Secretary Sajid Javid played pool during a visit to the African Caribbean Community Initiative in Wolverhampton as part of Mental Health Awareness Week.

And Justice Secretary Dominic Raab met young offenders during a visit to HMP Feltham, London, to launch a new mechanics workshop.

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