BRITAIN has proven our doubters wrong time and time again.

Unemployment has stayed close to a 50-year low and we avoided a recession last year, despite the huge global challenges we faced.

While it might hurt in the short-term getting wages to go up and halving inflation have to be top priorities


While it might hurt in the short-term getting wages to go up and halving inflation have to be top priorities

But there is no doubt that the pandemic and Putin’s war have come at a cost.

We have all seen prices shoot up in supermarkets — milk is up by 50 per cent, bread by a fifth and eggs a third.

That inflation means the pound in your pocket buys less.

I know this hurts, families are cutting back to make ends meet, making sacrifices to pay the bills.

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Growing the economy so your wages go up and halving inflation this year so your money goes further are my top priorities.

The best tax cut I can give right now is a cut in inflation.

It is tough for many, but it will get better. At next week’s Budget we will go further to help struggling Brits.

That will include helping with bills but also helping people boost their own wages through jobs that are right for them.

For example, it is wrong that millions of families using pre-pay meters are charged more for the same gas and electricity usage compared to those paying by direct debit.

That’s why I’m putting this absurdity to an end.

From July this year, families on prepayment meters will no longer pay more, saving some of the most vulnerable families £45 a year.

More proof we are on the side of families.

Brighter futures

Taking together all government support to help with bills, that means an average of £3,300 extra per household over this year and the next.

But there is more we can do to improve lives. Growing the economy means more jobs, better pay and brighter futures for our kids.

So next week I will set out the next part of my plan to do just that.

Our jobs market is strong. Despite the body blows we have taken over the past few years, we still have near record employment.

But working is not just about paying the bills. When you are in the right job, work is a point of pride, friends and purpose.

This isn’t possible for millions of people because they can’t get the job they want. I want that to end.

My message is clear: Those who can work, will. But for those who can’t, we will always help.

That is why we are increasing the national living wage to a record £10.42 an hour from April to make sure work always pays.

And thanks to a decade of reforms, Brits can now earn £1,000 a month without paying a penny in income tax and National Insurance.

For those on benefits who can work but refuse to, we are going to toughen up our enforcement of sanctions.

But for the millions of people who are boxed out of work, I will step in.

For example, for the millions of people on Universal Credit who look after children, I am going to increase the maximum amounts you can claim back towards childcare costs by several hundred pounds.

And money will now be paid up front for parents moving into work or increasing their hours, not in arrears, making it easier for low-income families to find childcare and get into work.

Even more people who receive benefits for a disability will no longer have to undertake work capability assessments, so they can work without fear of losing those benefits.

And “returnships” will help people find apprenticeships which are more suitable for people who have had previous careers.

I want everyone to get the skills they need at any stage of life so they can get the job they want.

While I have no time for people who put Britain down, we do have problems that need fixing. Nearly nine million people are economically inactive — that holds us all back.

By breaking these barriers, we can make the most of what this country has to offer.

We can also fill the 1.1million vacancies in this country, rather than just importing workers from abroad.

This is my promise to the British people. We will get control of bills, get people into work and get the economy growing again.

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Last autumn I took the painful decisions needed to steady the ship.

We need to stick to the plan and go for growth to raise living standards for all.

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