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UK PM Truss admits ‘disruption’ but insists ‘iron grip’ on finances 

“The status quo is not working. For too long we have been held back by low growth and high taxes. We need to get things done in this country more quickly."

British Prime Minister Liz Truss shakes hands with her Danish counterpart Mette Frederiksen in Downing Street, London, Britain October 1, 2022. (REUTERS/Maja Smiejkowska)

British Prime Minister Liz Truss has admitted for the first time since her government’s mini-budget set off the Pound Sterling’s historic downfall that there has been “disruption”, but insisted on staying her course of tax cuts while keeping an “iron grip” on the nation’s finances.

Since her Chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng, announced GBP 45 billion worth of tax cuts last week, the value of the pound plummeted, nearly half of mortgages were pulled from the housing market, the Bank of England launched a GBP 65 billion buy back of the country’s long-term bonds to protect pension funds and International Monetary Fund (IMF) issued an unprecedented warning.

While the Opposition Labour Party and many members of the governing Conservatives have dubbed it a crisis of the government’s own making, Truss reiterated on Friday that it was the “decisive action” that was needed amid global turmoil caused by the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

“I recognise there has been disruption. But it was really, really important that we were able to get help to families as soon as possible – that help is coming this weekend,” she said, with reference to an energy price guarantee that sets a cap on how high household fuel bills can go.

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Writing in ‘The Sun’, she said: “The status quo is not working. For too long we have been held back by low growth and high taxes. We need to get things done in this country more quickly.

“So I am going to do things differently. It involves difficult decisions and does involve disruption in the short term.” Truss, who replaced Boris Johnson earlier this month in a leadership battle with British Indian former Chancellor Rishi Sunak, admitted that while everyone would not like what she was doing, “I want to reassure the public that the government has a clear plan that I believe is right for the country”.

“I am determined to take a new course to unleash our potential, get the economy growing and deliver a better future for everyone. We are cutting taxes so you keep more of the money you earn,” she added.

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The newly elected leader will soon be facing the party membership base that voted her into power at the Conservative Party annual conference, starting in Birmingham on Sunday. There is likely to be a fairly downbeat atmosphere at this year’s conference for the Tories as the Opposition Labour under Keir Starmer is enjoying a healthy bounce in opinion polls since their party conference concluded earlier in the week.

First published on: 01-10-2022 at 18:27 IST
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