I am proud that the UK has some of the highest animal welfare standards in the world. Ministers have been clear that they intend it to remain world-leading in the future and, as a minimum, to retain our existing standards of animal welfare once we have left the EU.
Public sector workers deserve to have fulfilling jobs that are fairly rewarded. The Government has confirmed that it will be moving away from the 1 per cent public sector pay policy, towards a more flexible approach on pay.
As you know, monetary policy is a matter for the independent Bank of England. I remain firmly supportive of this independence, and the Bank's 2 per cent inflation target is a cornerstone of the UK's financial stability and continued prosperity.
The Government has continued to reform APD in the interests of passengers. Duties on long flights have been reduced. Furthermore, duties on short flights have been frozen, and will only rise by inflation from 2018-19.
I believe strongly that the passion, commitment, and specialist knowledge our doctors, nurses and other NHS staff is what makes our NHS so special. I recognise that staff morale is vital to maintaining staff commitment to services.
Pubs play a crucial role in the social and economic life of our nation. The British Beer and Pub Association estimate that each pub contributes £80,000 each year to its local economy. I am glad that the pub sector is being supported in a range of ways.