Monday, October 03, 2022

Another fine mess

 During the summer, the Tory Party conducted a bitter leadership contest between Liz Truss and Richie Sunak. Particularly on economic policy, they were at loggerheads. 

Although the parliamentary party favoured Sunak, the party membership were against him, fired on no doubt by the press who painted Sunak as the snake who'd master minded Johnson's downfall. 

I'm not sure the membership actually wanted Truss – a significant number tried to get Johnson's name onto the voting paper but that was deemed against the rules. So they ended up electing Truss instead.

Truss said all along that she wanted to cut taxes but I don't recall explain how that would be paid for except for some vague notion about stimulating growth. Neither do I recall her saying the cuts would mostly benefit the well off.

Obviously she could not wait to put her ideas into practice so she and her Chancellor came up with a “mini budget”. 

Since it was urgent, there was no time to consult with her Cabinet nor was there time to get the Office for Budget Responsibility to provide a forecast of the effect the tax cuts would have on the economy. 

The result was shocking. What did she expect? Apart from anything else, Truss wanted to borrow money to give the well off a hefty tax relief. Oh and let's not forget there was also a promise to remove the cap on banker's bonuses. Oh how nice it is to be well off in a Truss ruled country. 

To make matters worse, she then hinted that all this would be in future be paid for by cuts in services. The country though would have to wait until the 23rd November to find out exactly what she was planning in that direction. 

Understandably, there was talk of rebellion amongst her MPs who remember did not not want her in the first place. Some were already talking about letters of no confidence and others said they would not go to conference where they would have to pretend to support Truss. 

Then Truss came out and said that cutting the highest rate of tax was her chancellor's idea and without any notice to her ministers has u-turned on the promise.

We wait with baited breath for her speech on Wednesday and even more for the return to parliament. The first prime ministers question time should be interesting!

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