RACHEL Reeves was today slammed for delivering a major party conference speech on the economy without once mentioning inflation.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt hit out at his opposition counterpart for failing to mention the "biggest single issue" challenging British households while addressing hundreds of delegates.

Mr Hunt said: "Oops…when the biggest single issue for the economy is inflation it doesn’t get ONE mention from the Shadow Chancellor?

"Because adding £28 bn a year to borrowing will push it up – meaning higher mortgages, higher debt interest and lower growth."

A government source told The Sun: “Labour can’t even bring themselves to say the word 'inflation' because they fundamentally don’t give a toss.

"All we see from Reeves is a dangerous plan to borrow an extra £28 billion a year which will send prices and mortgages sky high.”

It came as in her speech Ms Reeves confirmed Labour will BACK Rishi Sunak's plan to ban young people from smoking.

The Shadow Chancellor argued outlawing fags is the "one sensible thing" the Tories came up with at their annual meet-up in Manchester.

She told a packed-out auditorium of Labour die-hards: "I'm telling you what we already know.

"Liz Truss might be out of Downing Street but she is still leading the Conservative Party.

"The one sensible thing that they came up with (in Manchester) was their phased smoking ban, which we support.

"However, I do fear for the Conservative Party – with such a shortage of fag packets, what on earth are they going to write their next policy on?"



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Ms Reeves risked sparking a class war as she re-affirmed a major crackdown on private schools, cutting tax breaks and whacking an additional 20 per cent on to parents' fees.

She said: "If Rishi Sunak wants a fight on this… wants a fight about who has the most aspiration for our children, then I say bring it on."

On the housing crisis blighting Britain, the Shadow Chancellor set out a goal to guarantee 70 per cent of British households are homeowners.

She vowed to raise stamp duty charges on foreign buyers to help fund the construction of affordable homes.

"Labour is the party of the builders not the blockers," she said.

On workers' pay, Ms Reeves said she'd ensure the minimum wage always takes into the cost of living so in turn it becomes a "real living wage".

But she didn't clarify if Labour wants to categorically bump the minimum wage up so that it is always in line with living wage figures.

She said: "We will rebrand the minimum wage, like the Tories, but for the first time it will be a minimum wage taking account of the real cost of living.

"Finally, with Labour, we will have a genuine living wage."

The Shadow Chancellor announced plans to put an end Whitehall waste and save taxpayers' cash.

She pledged to ban ministers from travelling on private jets where commercial flights are available.

And she said Whitehall mandarins will only be allowed to fork out cash on expensive consultants if value for money can be proven.

Ms Reeves said she'll instate a ‘Covid Corruption Commissioner’ to examine dodgy pandemic procurement contracts "line-by-line".

And she promised to kickstart an independent inquiry into HS2 spending getting out of control.

“Just look at the fate of HS2," she said.

"A major transport project lost, another promise broken because the government could not keep costs under control.

“If I were in the Treasury, I would have been on the phone to the Chief Executive of HS2 non-stop.

"Demanding answers – and solutions – on behalf of taxpayers, businesses, and commuters."

Off the back of Liz Truss' disastrous mini budget, Ms Reeves promised to impose a new fiscal law requiring any government making "permanent and significant tax and spending changes" to be subject to an independent forecast from the unelected Office for Budget Responsibility.

She also pledged to create a new National Wealth Fund that will have to leverage in £3 of investment for each £1 of taxpayer money.

She said: "Financial responsibility means knowing when not to spend. But it also means making sure that when you invest you get the bang for your buck.

"Labour will make the long term decisions and invest in British industry, driving down bills and creating new jobs."

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The Shadow Chancellor reaffirmed Labour's key promise to abolish non-dom tax status and spend the billions they claim it will bring in on increasing the number of doctors and nurses in the NHS.

She told delegates: "If you make your home in Britain, you should pay your taxes here too, and with Labour you will."

Finishing off her speech, Ms Reeves said: "We have changed this party so that we may have the chance to change our country.

"Labour will fight this next election on the economy. Every day we will expose what the Conservatives have done to our country.

"We are here – ready to serve, ready to lead, and together, we can – and we will – rebuild Britain."

Immediately after Ms Reeves' speech ended it was endorsed by the Brexit-hating former Bank of England Governor Mark Carney.

Despite being supposed to hide his political allegiances, the formerly so-called independent governor said: "Rachel Reeves is a serious economist. She began her career at the Bank of England so she understands the big picture.

"But crucially she understands the economics of work, of place and family. And, look, it is beyond time we put her energy and ideas into action."

Responding to Ms Reeves' speech, Becca Lyon, head of child poverty at Save the Children UK, said: "Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves has rightly acknowledged that too many children are growing up in poverty and parents are skipping meals.

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"If Labour were to get into government, their proposed new deal for working people must be accompanied by reform to Universal Credit and a child poverty strategy underpinned by a new Child Poverty Act. 

"Families have been severely impacted by back-to-back crises of austerity, Covid and the cost-of-living crisis, and these measures could help lift thousands of children out of poverty."

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