Rishi Sunak Has Claimed He Is Making 'Progress' On His 5 Pledges To Voters And People Aren't Convinced

At least three of the flagship promises he made a year ago are still being missed.

Rishi Sunak has been criticised after he claimed he had “made progress’ on “all five” of his pledges to voters.

The prime minister prompted widespread scepticism after his comments at a PM Connect event this morning.

He promised a year ago that he would halve inflation, grow the economy, reduce debt, cut NHS waiting lists and “stop the boats”.

Speaking in Lancashire, Sunak said: “On all five priorities we have made progress.”

However, only one of the pledges - to halve inflation - has definitely been achieved.

Here, HuffPost UK assesses what progress, if any, the PM has made on the rest.

Reducing Debt

Debt rose to 88.3% of GDP in November 2023 from 85.1% in December 2022. The Institute for Government has said while debts as a proportion of GDP was set to fall from 93.2% in 2027/28 to 92.8% the following year, that was based on “unrealistic” cuts to public spending.

And just last month, the PM was slammed by the official statistics watchdog for claiming debt was falling.

Cutting NHS waiting lists

Waiting lists have increased since Sunak promised to reduce them a year ago, with numbers in October 2023 almost 500,000 higher than in January 2023.

Stopping the boats

Just under 30,000 people crossed the English channel by small boats in 2023. While that was down by 36% compared to 2022, it was still well off his pledge of stopping them entirely.

Sunak recently admitted there was no “firm date” for that to be achieved.

Growing the economy

Data shows the economy is forecast to have grown by 0.5% in 2023, and similar levels of growth are forecast for 2024.

However, revised figures last month showed that the economy actually shrunk by 0.1% between July and September, putting the UK at risk of going into a recession.

Sky News political editor Beth Rigby was among those to cast doubt on the PM’s claims of progress.

She said: “In terms of what he has hit and missed it’s fair that halving inflation has been achieved, but on all the others [it’s] a government in trouble and a prime minister that has certainly not delivered on the promises that he made.”

Lib Dem deputy leader Daisy Cooper said Sunak was “living on another planet”.

“Just how out of touch is he? It’s clear now Rishi Sunak thinks everything is fine and nothing should change,” she said.

“This chaotic Conservative government has had long enough to get their act together. Enough is enough.”


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