Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has acknowledged that inflation is not falling as quickly as he would like. He has made halving consumer prices index (CPI) inflation to around 5.3% by the end of the year one of his key priorities. But he said it is “taking longer than any of us would like”.
The Office for National Statistics will publish the CPI figure for June on Wednesday. In May, inflation was 8.7% and the consensus among economists is that June’s figure will come in at around 8.2%.
Mr Sunak said progress is being made to bring price rises under control but high inflation is proving more persistent than expected.
“Inflation is prices going up, and they are all going up faster than we would like,” he told LBC.
“That’s what is eating into people’s pay packets, it’s what’s eroding their savings, it’s what’s putting up interest rates and putting pressure on mortgages.
“So, the best way to help people with the cost of living … is to bring down inflation.
“So, the first of my priorities is to halve inflation. Is that taking longer than any of us would like? Yes, it is.
“Am I the right person to tackle it? Yes, because I identified it as a problem before anybody else.
“I think people trust me when it comes to managing the economy, and they trust me to be honest with them because, you know what, bringing inflation down does mean you have got to make some difficult decisions sometimes because they are the right long-term ones for the country.
“That’s what I’m about.”
He added: “Of course it’s proving more persistent, but I’m being honest with people about the reasons for that, I’m not shying away from it.
“And I’m not apologetic about setting an ambitious target to bring it down. Because I think that’s right to be ambitious for the country. I’m ambitious to make a difference to people.
“And the best way I can make a difference on their cost-of-living pressures is to bring inflation down.”