Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond presented a speech to the Conservative Party at its conference and outlined areas where UK employees and flexible workers will be impacted.
Mr Hammond cast the Brexit vote as a statement by UK residents that they want to restore “Control over the rules and regulations that govern their lives; control over who can live and work in their country; and control over how their money is spent.”
He described the Conservative Party as representing the interests of working people, taking credit for creating public sector jobs at a rate of seven to one, reducing income taxes for millions of people and giving tax relief to millions more.
With a look to negotiations with the EU27, the Chancellor assured the conference that post-Brexit, the Government will protect the interests of UK workers and that Brexit will be a success.
He promised that “We will do it by making the British economy the most outward-looking, most dynamic, most competitive, high wage, high skilled, low tax economy in the world.”
A specific workers’ issue that Mr Hammond addressed was the raising of national productivity so that UK employees and contractors are no longer working more hours for less pay than their EU and US counterparts. He proposed raising productivity by one per cent every year by closing the gap between London’s productivity and that of other regions that feel left back. By example, he discussed the Northern Powerhouse project and the Midlands Engine, the latter of which has put 320,000 people to work.
Mr Hammond also credited workers’ skills improvement as a prime way to close the gap between the UK and competitors.
Casting the role of tech innovation as a part of productivity improvement, Hammond stated: “I want to see what is developed here, produced here. I want to see jobs, profits and tax receipts here in Britain.” With this, he announced a Government pledge of £220 million to tech innovation.
His final comments were on facing challenges “And ensuring that everyone, in every part of our country, can contribute to, and benefit from, the growth that follows. Paying our way in the world; standing tall amongst our competitors; attracting the brightest and the best to deliver the vibrant, successful economy that will mean when future generations look back on our decision in 2016, they will see not the end of an era but the beginning of a new age, not a country turning inward, but a nation reaching out decisively, confidently to grasp new opportunities.”