ThinkTent2021: Rishi’s reality check ahead of Spending Review

Ahead of the Spending Review, Chancellor Rishi Sunak gave ministers a financial reality check at packed fringe event hosted by Institute of Economic Affairs Director General Mark Littlewood and the TaxPayers’ Alliance Chief Executive John O’Connell at Conservative Party Conference.

Key Quotes:

  1. When asked how much Net Zero will cost, Sunak said: “You can’t put a figure on it”, and that “you can’t spend your way to Net Zero”, but regulation, behavioural change, and technology will all play their part.

  2. On raising National Insurance contributions to fund the NHS and social care, Sunak said: “We need to hold the NHS to account to ensure money is well spent… it is important we strive that every penny is spent well”. The Chancellor added: “We can’t just keep measuring success by how much money we spend”.

  3. On the public finances, Sunak acknowledged that: “our best protection against future threats, whether it’s interest rates or another crisis like coronavirus, is just to have fiscal headroom” and that he wants to “leave a legacy” of fiscal responsibility to the next Chancellor.

You can watch back a full recording here on the IEA YouTube channel.


Notes to editors

For media enquiries, please contact Emily Carver on 07715 942 731 or [email protected].

IEA spokespeople are available for further comment and interview.

You can watch a full recording of the event on the IEA YouTube channel here.

The mission of the Institute of Economic Affairs is to improve understanding of the fundamental institutions of a free society by analysing and expounding the role of markets in solving economic and social problems. The IEA is a registered educational charity and independent of all political parties.