New UK finance minister says govt needs to grow struggling economy

Britain's new finance minister Nadhim Zahawi stressed the need for discipline and to be fiscally responsible. PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (REUTERS) - Britain's new finance minister Nadhim Zahawi said on Wednesday (July 6) the government needed to rebuild and grow the country's struggling economy, and he would look at all options to do that.

"I will look at everything, there is nothing off the table," he told Sky News, when asked about possible tax cuts.

Britain's economy is showing signs of a slowdown as inflation heads for double-digits and it is forecast to be weaker than other big industrialised economies next year.

Mr Zahawi also stressed the need for "fiscal discipline" and said the government would have to be careful about increases in public sector pay which could drive inflation higher.

"The important thing is to get inflation under control, be fiscally responsible," he told Sky News.

Mr Zahawi was appointed on Tuesday by Prime Minister Boris Johnson hours after Mr Rishi Sunak quit the job in protest at Mr Johnson's "standards" and citing differences over economic policy with the prime minister.

Mr Zahawi said he would look at ways at which the country can remain “competitive and dynamic” with its European neighbours and the rest of the world.

“Of course I will be looking at where else can I make sure the economy remains competitive and dynamic with our European neighbours and the rest of the world as well,” he told the BBC.

Asked about the planned corporation tax rate increase, he told Times Radio: “Nothing’s off the table I will look at everything. When boards invest, companies invest, they invest for the long term and they do compare corporation tax rates.”

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