‘Trust me,’ says Truss after mini-budget wreaks havoc and UK energy bills rise
Britain’s prime minister has called on voters to ‘trust me’, defending his government’s policies after a disastrous week in which his mini budget caused market turmoil and widespread condemnation, and the opposition took a 30-point lead in the opinion polls.
Liz Truss admitted the announcement caused “disruption”, after the uncosted tax cut plan triggered a series of economic shocks.
The pound crashed to a record high against the US dollar, borrowing costs soared, mortgage lenders withdrew offers, the Bank of England was forced to intervene to protect funds from pension from a partial collapse and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) called on the UK to review its plans.
write in the sun On Saturday, the prime minister acknowledged that “the bills are high and people are scared”, but insisted that “the government is on your side”.
His article comes on a day when energy prices are rising for millions of households to levels twice as high as they were last winter – a typical bill rises to £2,500 (€2,848) – although they are compensated by rebates and a government cap on the unit cost.
“If we hadn’t stepped up, the cost would have been unthinkable and unforgivable,” Truss wrote.
Stating that “the status quo is not working”, the prime minister – in office for just over three weeks after taking over from Boris Johnson – said she was “going to do things differently”.
“It involves tough decisions and involves short-term disruption. Not everyone will like what we are doing, but I want to reassure the public that the government has a clear plan which I believe is good for the country,” she added.
The tax cuts would come with an engine of growth, Truss said. “At the same time, we will keep an iron grip on national finances as part of our commitment to sound currency.”
She also pledged to make the most of the UK’s ‘newfound freedom’ after Brexit and get rid of ‘all unnecessary EU-inspired bureaucracy’ by the end of next year. .
Britain’s chancellor (finance minister) also went on the defensive, writing in The Telegraph that the government will make a new “pledge” to rein in public spending. Kwasi Kwarteng has pledged to release a “credible” plan in November to reduce debt.
But he also doubled down on his mini-budget, writing that while some measures may not be universally popular “we had no other choice”.
Kwarteng unveiled a series of tax cuts last week that were not accompanied by forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR). The unusual move is believed to have added to market turmoil over the past week.
Truss and Kwarteng met with the OBR on Friday and said they would release its forecast when another budget statement was produced on November 23.
“We are working very closely with the Bank of England. It is very important that monetary and fiscal policy is coordinated and I recognize that there have been disruptions,” Truss told reporters during a visit to the city. East of England on Friday when asked if she would accept that it was largely a crisis of her own making.
The Prime Minister also promised in her newspaper article to “regain our energy independence”, via new supply contracts, more gas fields in the North Sea and more nuclear energy.
Truss met his Danish counterpart Mette Frederiksen in London on Saturday and discussed what they agreed was a “sabotage” of Nord Stream gas pipelines, as well as wind power and security cooperation, it said. his office.
Truss’ bid to take the lead comes two days after a YouGov opinion poll suggested the opposition Labor Party had jumped to a 33-point lead. According to another YouGov poll, more than half (51%) of the population believe Truss should step down, despite his short time in office.
All of this is adding pressure on the new Prime Minister as she prepares for the Conservative Party conference next week.
Delegates heading to the event in Birmingham were not helped by the biggest railway strike of this year on Saturday, as tens of thousands of workers walked away in disputes over pay and job security, shutting down most of the country’s rail network.
Thousands of Britons took to the streets on Saturday to protest the cost of living crisis in the country, where inflation is around 10%. “I can’t pay, I won’t pay,” chanted protesters outside King’s Cross station in London, burning fake energy bills.
According to the British press, letters of defiance would already be written against Liz Truss. Some Tories were stunned by his budget announcements, while others would regret Boris Johnson’s departure, despite a litany of scandals and his reputation as a serial liar.