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Growth and Reform: Rachel Reeves’ Vision for Britain’s Future

08.07.24 | Written by Vanisha Solanki

In a landmark speech at the Treasury today, Chancellor Rachel Reeves emphasised growth and reform as the cornerstones of her economic strategy to revitalise Britain. The Chancellor, committed to getting things done, outlined her plan to reignite the nation’s building efforts and secure sustained economic growth as the pathway to improved prosperity and living standards for working people. “Growth is a national mission,” she declared, underscoring the importance of economic expansion. Highlighting that if the UK had grown at the average rate of OECD economies, it would have been £140 billion better off, worth an additional £58 billion annually to the Treasury, Reeves made a compelling case for immediate action.

To achieve this growth, Reeves acknowledged the necessity of making hard choices and emphasised the urgency of fixing foundational issues without delay. Her strategy rests on three pillars: Stability, Investment, and Reform.


Reeves stressed that stability is crucial for maintaining low taxes, interest rates, and mortgage costs. Committed to fiscal responsibility, she promised to adhere to the fiscal rules outlined in Labour’s manifesto, ensuring no increases in tax. This government, she affirmed, is stable and open for business, providing a reliable environment for economic activity.


To catalyse private investment, Reeves announced the establishment of a National Wealth Fund. This initiative aims to leverage public funds to stimulate private sector investment, with Mark Carney leading a taskforce that has already reported its findings. The next steps for this initiative will be announced shortly, signalling a proactive approach to mobilising capital for growth.


Reform, particularly in planning, is at the heart of Reeves’ agenda. She pointed out that planning reform has long been hindered by entrenched interests and bureaucratic inertia, describing it as the “graveyard of economic ambition.” Key reforms include:

  • NPPF Reform: Consulting on a growth-focused approach and restoring mandatory housing targets by the end of July.
  • Onshore Wind: Lifting the ban on onshore wind and incorporating it into the Nationally Significant Infrastructure regime. Decisions on large developments will be made nationally, not locally.
  • Energy Projects: Prioritising energy projects to expedite their progress, with a spatial plan for energy that could serve as a model for other infrastructure sectors.
  •  Accelerating Stalled Schemes: A new task force will focus on accelerating projects like Liverpool Central Docks, Worcester Parkway, Northstowe, and Langley Sutton Coldfield, representing more than 14,000 homes.
  • Supporting Local Authorities: Hiring 300 new planners to assist local authorities.
  • Government Intervention: Considering regional and national benefits in planning decisions, with immediate action to repeal two planning decisions for data centres in Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire.
  • Collaboration with Local Authorities: The Deputy Prime Minister will write to local mayors and the Office for Investment to highlight investment opportunities to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DHLUC) and the Treasury. The Deputy Prime Minister will also write to local planning authorities alongside the NPPF consultation, making clear what will now be expected of them, including universal coverage of local plans and review of green belt boundaries. These plans will prioritise brownfield and grey belt land for development to meet housing targets where needed.
  • Universal Local Plans: Ensuring comprehensive coverage with reviews of the Green Belt, supported by golden rules to deliver affordable and social housing.
  • Critical Infrastructure Policy: Setting out a policy for critical infrastructure and reviewing National Policy Statements within the year.

Reeves’ speech marks a decisive step towards revitalising the UK’s economy through strategic stability, investment, and reform, aimed at laying the groundwork for long-term prosperity and resilience.

These initiatives mark a significant shift for Labour, reflecting a proactive and pragmatic approach to addressing the UK’s economic challenges. By prioritising stability, investment, and reform, Rachel Reeves is positioning Labour as a party capable of driving sustained economic growth and improving living standards. The comprehensive planning reforms and strategic investments signal Labour’s commitment to cutting through bureaucratic inertia and vested interests to deliver tangible results. In the coming months, the effectiveness of these policies will be closely watched, as they represent Labour’s ambition to transform the economic landscape and build a prosperous future for Britain.

Image courtesy of Kirsty O’Connor / Treasury

Growth and Reform: Rachel Reeves' Vision for Britain's Future