UK PM Truss Says She’s ‘Sorry’ For Economic ‘Mistakes’.
Embattled UK Prime Minister Liz Truss on Monday apologized for going “too far too fast” with reforms that triggered economic turmoil but vowed to remain leader despite a series of humiliating climbdowns.
“I do want to accept responsibility and say sorry for the mistakes that have been made… we went too far and too fast,” she told the BBC.
However, she said that she was “completely committed to delivering for this country” despite questions over who was now in control of government policy.
Her government on Monday axed almost all of its debt-fuelled tax cuts unveiled last month to avert fresh market chaos.
The shock move by new finance chief Jeremy Hunt — parachuted into the job on Friday to replace sacked Kwasi Kwarteng — leaves Truss’s position in a precarious state, with Conservative MP Roger Gale saying that Hunt was “de facto prime minister”.
Hunt estimated the tax changes would raise about £32 billion ($36 billion) per year after economists estimated the government faced a £60-billion black hole. He also warned of tough spending cuts.
The chancellor of the exchequer said no government could control markets — but stressed his action would give certainty over public finances and help secure growth.
“The prime minister and I agreed yesterday to reverse almost all the tax measures announced in the growth plan three weeks ago,” Hunt told parliament, flanked by a grim-faced Truss.
The chancellor also announced the formation of an economic advisory council, featuring four experts outside of government.
Hours earlier, he had used a brief televised statement to announce the dramatic reversals to nervous markets, conceding last month’s budget from his predecessor had harmed the public purse.
Truss told the BBC that she still believed in a “high-growth, low-tax economy”, but that economic stability was “my priority as prime minister”.
Key Updates As Liz Truss Becomes New U.K. Prime Minister
– U-turns –
Hunt scrapped plans to axe the lowest rate of income tax and curbed the government’s flagship energy price freeze — pulling the plug in April instead of late 2024.
After April, his department will “review” its energy support package, he said.
A proposed reduction in shareholder dividend tax was also binned, along with planned tax-free shopping for tourists and a freeze on alcohol duty.
The announcement comes as Truss’s governing Conservative party tanks in the opinion polls amid the reversals and Britain’s worsening cost-of-living crisis.
Truss fired her close friend Kwarteng on Friday after their recent tax-slashing budget sent bond yields spiking and the pound collapsing to a record dollar-low on fears of rocketing UK debt — fuelling intense speculation over her political future one month after taking office.
Hunt’s action on Monday sent the British pound soaring against the dollar and euro, while bond yields dipped.
Source | IgbereTv
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