Tag Archives: Kwasi

Tories scrap 45p tax rate cut amid huge controversy

Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng: 10 days ago, cutting the 45p tax rate was a proud announcement for them. Now it has become a millstone around their collective necks.

A plan to cut the 45p top tax rate for high earners has been scrapped by Chancelllor Kwasi Kwarteng just 10 days after he announced it.

Kwarteng reversed the decision after a weekend of growing controversy surrounding the policy in which his prime minister, Liz Truss, appeared to try to throw him “under a bus”:

Note that she initially tried to defend the policy using the language of her bosses in right-wing think tanks like the Institute for Economic Affairs, saying it was an attempt to simplify the tax system and lower the tax burden.

But then, realising that interviewer Laura Kuenssberg was saying the policy was hugely unpopular with the public, she backtracked, saying that it was a policy devised by Kwarteng, which was not properly discussed in Cabinet.

And now, as Kwarteng prepares to give his speech to the Tory Party Conference, we have this:

Apparently there was a rebellion within the Conservative Parliamentary Party over the “toxicity” of cutting the top rate of tax amid a cost-of-living crisis for the vast majority of people in the UK.

And Truss was afraid that the rebellion would dominate the conference.

It’s a huge u-turn for a prime minister who had claimed she was “prepared to be unpopular”. It seems she wasn’t prepared for it after all.

The BBC has reported that Kwarteng said the proposal

had become “a massive distraction on what was a strong package”.

“We just talked to people, we listened to people, I get it,” he added.

Mr Kwarteng told BBC Breakfast the proposal was “drowning out a strong package”, including support for energy bills, and cuts to the basic rate of income tax and corporation tax.

Asked whether he owed people an apology, he said: “We’ve listened to people. And yeah, there is humility and contrition in that. And I’m happy to own it.”

On how the decision was made, he said: “The prime minister decided not to proceed with the abolition of the rate.”

However, pressed on whether it was her U-turn, Mr Kwarteng added: “No, we talked together, I said this is what I was minded to do and we decided together, we were in agreement that we wouldn’t proceed with the abolition of the rate.”

Asked if he had considered resigning, he said: “Not at all.”

He is on his way out, though.

Remember, we’ve been told that the 45p tax rate doesn’t actually bring much money back into the Treasury; it isn’t the cause of the economic upheavals we have seen over the last week.

It didn’t crash the Pound.

It didn’t crash the pension funds.

It hasn’t put the cost of imports up beyond the benefit to ordinary people of the other tax cuts.

We are heading for worse problems over an autumn and winter that Truss and Kwarteng have deliberately turned into a waking nightmare for millions of us.

What will these two con tricksters blame next?

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Is Liz Truss preparing to stab Kwasi Kwarteng in the back?

Knife: is Liz Truss plunging one of these into Kwasi Kwarteng’s back – metaphorically, at least?

Wow. New UK prime minister Liz Truss is already showing her vicious side. Who knew she had one?

In what is the BBC’s headline report at the time of writing, Truss lays as much blame for the failure of the Tory ‘fiscal event’ of September 23 on Kwarteng:

She added a decision to cut the top earner tax rate was a “decision that the chancellor made”. And she revealed it was not discussed with the whole cabinet beforehand.

She added that the cut was a decision made by Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng – prompting former cabinet minister and Boris Johnson loyalist Nadine Dorries to accuse her of throwing him “under a bus”.

Some commentators have picked up on this:

I’m not sure I want to envision Liz Truss “fingering” Kwasi Kwarteng, but I’m looking forward to his Tory conference speech tomorrow (October 3).

Will he retaliate?

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Truss and Kwarteng LIED about independent report on their mini-budget. Should they resign?

It turns out the Office for Budget Responsibility provided Kwasi Kwarteng with a report on his mini-budget plans on September 6, the day he took office as Chancellor.

The OBR offered to update it with any extra information before Kwarteng’s ‘fiscal event’ on September 23 – and would have been able to provide this – but was not asked to do so.

Instead, Kwarteng refused to issue any OBR report on that day – claiming there was not enough time. This appears to have been a lie:

Truss is still refusing to publish the OBR’s assessment of her plans until November 23 – nearly three months after it was written.

So Kwarteng has lied to the nation and Truss has compounded that lie by refusing to rectify it.

And the reason?

The OBR’s report would have damned the plans in the “fiscal event” as economic suicide. Truss and Kwarteng were told what their plans would do, and they produced them anyway. Shouldn’t they resign for deceiving us like this?

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Tory mini-budget lies debunked: don’t let them fool you

Gaslighting: Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng (and the rest of their government) are trying to feed you a lot of misleading lines about their policies. Don’t let them.

After crashing the UK economy with their ‘dumb and dumber’ mini-budget/’fiscal event’, Liz Truss, Kwasi Kwarteng and their Conservative government chums are trying to gaslight you into thinking the consequences are not their fault.

Don’t believe a word of it.

Let’s have a look at some of their claims:

First among them must be this nonsense that the mini-budget was economically sound. Here’s one very obvious indicator that it wasn’t:

On her round of radio interviews yesterday (September 29), Liz Truss tried to tell us all that she has capped energy bills at £2,500 per year – indicating that she doesn’t understand her own policy:

The Treasury is trying to tell us changes to stamp duty mean a saving of £11,250 for first-time buyers – but the mortgage would cost people who earn £30,000 a total of £38,000 per year:

How about the claim that cutting taxes is fair because it helps everybody?

And what is the government’s response to complaints? Here’s Ernst Stavro Blofeld- er, Andrew Griffith, and Peter Stefanovic’s response to him:

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Labour has almost the largest poll lead over the Tories in British political history

What a shame this could not have happened when Jeremy Corbyn was leader of the Labour Party. We might have ended up with a nation worth living in.

Here’s the gist:

So there you have it. Starmer’s Labour has a 33-point lead over Liz Truss and her hollowed-out Conservatives.

According to the poll, if there was a general election now, Labour would have 565 MPs and the Conservatives would have just three.

Evolve Politics has slightly different figures but they’re still horrifying for the Tories:

Liz Truss is already being touted as the person who could wipe out the Conservatives:

Of course she didn’t do it alone. I mention this merely to get a bit of mockery into the article – and this is too good not to keep for posterity:

But a Labour landslide would not be a necessarily good thing – especially under Keir Starmer’s leadership.

Economist Richard Murphy sets out the case for proportional representation here:

Remember this fact, also:

Still, there’s a groundswell of support for an immediate general election:

What do you think? Would you like an election?

Oh, and the Tories really have cancelled live band karaoke at their conference:

How will Therese Coffey get her kicks now?

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Liz’s legacy: crashing pound and pensions, housing crisis, inflation, unemployment. What’s to be done?

Liz Truss: “Duh… what did I do?”

Economist Richard Murphy has given his verdict on the result of Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng’s new economic direction for the UK – and it is damning.

But he has also done something far more important; he has suggested ways forward for the UK. Principal among those is making sure the Conservative Party is never allowed into power on its own again, so it can never again ruin the finances of millions of people for the benefit of a few spoilt rich kids.

It’s the first positive series of suggestions This Writer has seen.

See what you think – and be sure to send those thoughts in via the comments section:

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Economists are losing their minds over Truss and Kwarteng – and look who’s advising them!

Proved correct: this was an accurate prediction, as we can see from the revelation about who is advising Liz Truss – and the reactions of economists to what they have done together.

The Tory government led by Liz Truss is being advised by shady right-wing think tanks like the Institute for Economic Affairs, which seems to exist purely to eliminate so-called ‘big’ government and remove restrictions on business like workers’ rights and environmental protections.

Nobody knows everything about who funds the IEA. But one of its lunatics – I mean representatives – appeared on ITV’s Good Morning Britain to show us all how crazy his organisation is. Take a look:

Meanwhile, professional economists are going absolutely crazy about the disaster that Kwasi Kwarteng has triggered, on the advice of these far-right think tanks (apparently).

Have a listen to what they have to say:

There is a lesson to learn from this:

The Conservatives are NOT the party to trust with the UK economy.

Not now, and never again.

It’s no wonder that Truss and Kwarteng seem to have given up on trying to run the country and are instead abusing their position to funnel money to their richest friends – presumably in the hope that this will give them an escape route when the whole house of cards collapses.

Let’s hope some more Tory MPs grow a backbone and eject them before the damage becomes irreversible.

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Government doubles down over economic plan while Truss and Kwarteng go into hiding

Now you see them: but after their disastrous ‘fiscal event’, politics-watchers are now being forced to play a new game. You might call it ‘Where’s Lizzie?’, or ‘Where’s Kwasi?’

What a stunning headline to write.

The Tory government is sticking by its tax-cuts-for-the-rich, make-the-poor-pay plan, even after the Bank of England had to step in with a plan to buy bonds in order to save the economy from collapsing altogether, after Kwasi Kwarteng’s worst-budget-ever last Friday (September 23).

Government departments are already being asked to find spending cuts, though – it’s looking bad for your NHS (which, by the way, is looking like an extremely enticing purchase for US investors now the Pound has plummeted to parity-or-below with the Dollar).

Meanwhile Liz Truss hasn’t been seen for nearly a week; her only communication being to congratulate a fascist on an election victory in Italy.

And Kwasi Kwarteng has similarly dropped off the map; apart from an excruciating non-response when asked how he’d solve the problems he created last Friday, he appears to be cowering in his office, waiting for the P45 to slide under the door.

Conservative MPs – along with the rest of us – have picked up on the fact that Rishi Sunak, the former Chancellor and Liz Truss’s rival in the leadership contest on which the Tories decided to waste the summer rather than do any actual work, predicted this chaos.

He said, “Borrowing your way out of inflation isn’t a plan – it’s a fairy tale.”

It is against this backdrop that Kwarteng will have to give a speech to the Conservative Party Conference on Monday.

Well, his tenure as Chancellor looks like becoming one of the shortest in history, so he might as well make the shortest-ever speech.

“I resign” comprises only two words.

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International Monetary Fund raps Truss and Kwarteng for ‘increasing inequality’

Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng: they’re pictured in Parliament, which is where they should be right now – apologising for the mess they’ve made and working to sort it out.

The International Monetary Fund has attacked the UK Conservative government’s tax plans, claiming that “large and untargeted fiscal packages” will be responsible for “increasing inequality”.

Here’s the IMF’s statement:

“We are closely monitoring recent economic developments in the UK and are engaged with the authorities.

“We understand that the sizable fiscal package announced aims at helping families and businesses deal with the energy shock and at boosting growth via tax cuts and supply measures.

“However, given elevated inflation pressures in many countries, including the UK, we do not recommend large and untargeted fiscal packages at this juncture, as it is important that fiscal policy does not work at cross purposes to monetary policy.

“Furthermore, the nature of the UK measures will likely increase inequality.

“The November 23 budget will present an early opportunity for the UK government to consider ways to provide support that is more targeted and re evaluate the tax measures, especially those that benefit high income earners.”

It’s a huge slapdown for Liz Truss and her Chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng – basically saying that the “fiscal event” of last Friday (September 23) was an ideologically-motivated “hit and hope” exercise with no factual support and no chance of success.

The call for re-evaluation in the November 23 budget is a clear warning to re-balance the economy in favour of the “families and businesses” Truss and Kwarteng claimed to be helping, rather than the “high income earners” they actually boosted.

There’s a lot of commentary on this – much of it focusing on the humiliation it signifies for Truss and Kwarteng. Here’s the balanced response from Labour’s Rachel Reeves:

Others were less equivocal:

And there has been a little speculation on how the Tories will react. This seemed on point when I first read it:

Then I found this, which tends to confirm it:

The real question is whether either Truss or Kwarteng will remain in post long enough to deliver a budget that redresses the situation on November 23.

Take a look at these clips, that This Writer found yesterday, and draw your own conclusions:

Is the party over before it has even begun for these two? The number of ‘no confidence’ letters arriving at the office of Sir Graham Brady may indicate that it is.

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Truss and Kwarteng can’t manage the economy – so shouldn’t they just go?

It’s a tried and proven maxim that if a government can’t manage its national economy, it will lose elections.

After Kwasi Kwarteng’s “fiscal event” last Friday, the UK economy tanked. The Pound has now hit its lowest-ever level against the Dollar.

It seems likely Liz Truss will lose the next election because of these choices. And letters may have started trickling in to the 1922 Committee already.

Is her time up already? Watch:

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