Keir Starmer says he is willing to make enemies to improve the economy

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Sir Keir Starmer has fought back against claims that Labor is relying on a „magic wand” of growth to solve the UK’s economic woes as he insists its limited election pledges are a „downpayment” for future investment.

The Labor leader, who polls suggest could become prime minister on July 5, refused to make clear he would not cut real-time budgets for courts, prisons or councils, but repeated an earlier statement that „we”. There is no going back to austerity.”

„I ran a public service during austerity and I know what it is, I know the damage it has done and that is the legacy of the last 14 years,” the former director of public prosecutions told the BBC. Panorama.

Starmer said his party’s pledges – including 6,500 new teachers and 2 million extra NHS appointments a year – were not „small” but a „downpayment” for a more ambitious reform plan. The commitment to teachers is equivalent to one teacher for every three schools.

Both Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Starmer have been accused of underestimating the amount of investment needed in public services and of failing to be honest with the public that the money should be raised through taxes or borrowing.

Starmer released the Labor report on Thursday, which set out £8.6bn in taxes, including tax avoidance and evasion and the use of VAT on independent schools. The policy platform has drawn attacks from the right for being a „tax trap” and from the left for lacking ambition and failing to address the challenges facing the nation.

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Accused of relying on the „magic wand” of so-called growth, Starmer said on Friday evening that „it’s not a magic wand, it’s a plan”, adding that he was prepared to „make enemies” to improve economic performance, including pushing ahead with planning reform.

Starmer has also suggested he wants to strike a new and more favorable Brexit deal with the EU, although he has said he does not want to bring back freedom of movement.

„I think we can do better than the deal we got under Boris Johnson. I think every business feels that way. So if there are businesses looking at this: I hear what you’re saying about barriers to trade, we’re going to do something about it,” he said.

But he said rebuilding the UK’s relationship with the EU was not a „single silver bullet” to boost the UK’s sluggish economic growth, adding that problems with planning, industrial strategy and skills existed before Brexit and continued afterwards.

Starmer reiterated his stance that he would not use private healthcare if he was put on a waiting list for care – raising some skepticism when he did so during the first leaders’ debate last week.

But he said „I completely understand why people would go private”.

„I know because they wanted to have a quick surgery and get back to work,” he said.

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