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Liz Truss

British PM Liz Truss says cabinet not told of tax cuts



British Prime Minister Liz Truss has tried to reassure her party and the public, saying she should have done more to “lay the ground” for an economic plan that saw the pound fall to record lows and government borrowing costs soar.

On the first day of her governing Conservative Party’s annual conference on Sunday, Ms Truss, in office for less than a month, adopted a softer tone by saying she would support the public during a difficult winter and beyond.

But she stood by her “growth plan”, a package of tax-cutting measures that investors and economists have criticised for setting out billions of pounds of spending while offering few details on how it would be paid for in the short term.

Ms Truss said it was the right plan, suggesting critics did not realise the depth of Britain’s problems and that she should have done more to explain them – an argument market traders and investors have dismissed as a reason for the falls in the pound and the increase in borrowing costs last week.

“I understand their worries about what has happened this week,” she told the BBC in the central English city of Birmingham.

“I do stand by the package we announced and I stand by the fact that we announced it quickly because we had to act, but I do accept that we should have laid the ground better.”

However, Ms Truss also did not deny that the plan would require spending cuts for public services, something some conservative lawmakers fear will make the party unpalatable to voters before the next national election due in 2024.

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Ms Truss’s economic plan raised alarm in the Conservative Party, particularly over the scrapping of the highest 45 per cent level of income tax.

Some in the party fear they are at risk of being seen as “the nasty party”, cutting taxes for the wealthiest while doing little to improve the lives of the most vulnerable.

Ms Truss said she supported the simplification of the tax system but added the decision on the top tax was taken by her finance minister Kwasi Kwarteng.

When asked whether all of her cabinet of top ministers had been told in advance, Ms Truss said: “No, we didn’t. This was a decision that the chancellor made.”

Ms Truss’s comment that it was Mr Kwarteng’s decision to remove the top rate of income tax is the first sign she might be trying to distance herself from her chancellor.

She also suggested politicians spend too much time worrying about how their policies were received by the public, saying she was focused on driving growth.

Ms Truss has often said she is not scared of making unpopular decisions.

“I do think there has been too much focus in politics on the optics or how things look,” she said.

But she struggled when pressed to answer whether scrapping some taxes would have to be paid for with cuts to public services.

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She said she wanted the best possible services, which offer taxpayers value for money.

“I am going to make sure we get value for money for the taxpayer, but I am very, very committed to making sure we have excellent frontline public services.”

-Reuters

The post British PM Liz Truss says cabinet not told of tax cuts appeared first on The New Daily.



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