Britain’s Prime Minister defended her controversial policy of massive tax cuts on TV on Sunday (2 October) but acknowledged communication errors after her budget announcements turned into a financial fiasco amid the cost of living crisis.
Less than a month after arriving at Downing Street, the new leader, more unpopular than ever, said on the BBC set in Birmingham, where the Conservative Party’s annual congress begins, that her ‘mini budget’ had been unveiled on September 23 ” the right decision”.
“I still stand by the plan that we announced and I contend that we announced it quickly because we had to act, but I recognize that we should have prepared the ground better,” she said.
Finance Minister Kwasi Kwarteng last week announced a “mini-budget” to deal with the cost of living crisis and inflation (nearly 10%) that is choking Brits, but his announcements are based on direct help for energy bills and significant tax cuts that the wealthy have found financial markets to be incomprehensible awakened who fear a debt explosion.
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“I think it was a good decision”
“I think it was the right decision to increase borrowing this winter,” Liz Truss reiterated after a turbulent week that saw sterling hit all-time lows and prompted interventions from both the International Monetary Fund and the Bank of England.
“Of course we need to bring the debt down to a certain percentage of GDP in the medium term and I have a plan for that. But what would have been a mistake would have been not to act,” she said, without specifying how she intended to proceed.
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After almost three weeks at Downing Street, Liz Truss is at an all time unpopular with Britons – 51 per cent of whom believe she should resign, according to a YouGov poll – and is no longer uniting within her Conservative ranks. Worried by his budgetary policies, some Tories have no hesitation in speaking out as the party’s annual congress begins on Sunday in a somber atmosphere and sparse seats.
“At a time when people are suffering and worried about their credit and the size of their tax allowances, introducing tax cuts for the rich as the number one tax measure is leading to bad results,” Tory MP Michael Gove told the BBC. “I don’t think that’s a good thing,” he added on Sunday when asked if he would vote for the budget in Parliament.
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