Rishi Sunak has promised to halve inflation in his first major speech of 2023.

The promise was one of five key pledges made by the Prime Minister in his first major appearance of the year.

He also promised to grow the economy, reduce national debt, reducing NHS waiting times and introduce new laws to stop small boats making the channel crossing.

Mr Sunak said: “I want to make five promises to you today. Five pledges to deliver peace of mind. Five foundations, on which to build a better future for our children and grandchildren.

“First, we will halve inflation this year to ease the cost of living and give people financial security. Second, we will grow the economy, creating better-paid jobs and opportunity right across the country. Third, we will make sure our national debt is falling so that we can secure the future of public services.

The Leader:

“Fourth, NHS waiting lists will fall and people will get the care they need more quickly. Fifth, we will pass new laws to stop small boats, making sure that if you come to this country illegally, you are detained and swiftly removed.

“So, five promises – we will: Halve inflation, grow the economy, reduce debt, cut waiting lists, and stop the boats.

“Those are the people’s priorities. They are your Government’s priorities. And we will either have achieved them or not.

“No trick… no ambiguity… we’re either delivering for you or we’re not. We will rebuild trust in politics through action, or not at all. So, I ask you to judge us on the effort we put in and the results we achieve.”

The Prime Minister also called for a “reasonable dialogue” with the unions, as he promised an update on the Government’s next steps.

In his speech, he said: “We hugely value public sector workers like nurses. They do incredibly important work and that’s why we want a reasonable dialogue with the unions about what’s responsible and fair for our country. And in the coming days, we will update you on the Government’s next steps.”

He said that his Government would reflect the “people’s priorities”.

“People don’t want politicians who promise the earth and then fail to deliver. They want government to focus less on politics and more on the things they care about – the cost of living, too high.

“Waiting times in the NHS, too long. Illegal migration, far too much. I think people do accept that many of these challenges are at least in part, the legacy of Covid and impacted by the war in Ukraine.

“But that’s not an excuse. We need to address these problems, not just talk about them.”