Tag Archives: Kwasi Kwarteng

Reactions to the churn

So Kwasi Kwarteng is out and Jeremy Hunt is in. How long can Liz Truss last after today’s extraordinary moves?

Prominent Lib Dems have, of course, been giving us their take on the news:

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think we can see a clear message here!

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Ed Davey calls for General Election after Chancellor leaves office

We know now that Kwasi Kwarteng is out as Chancellor just hours after Downing Street told the BBC’s Chris Mason that he and Liz Truss were “in lockstep.” Whether he jumped or was pushed is for the journalists to work out.

I would be very surprised if we see them leaving Government in lockstep together, which seems unfair given that he was basically implementing the policies she put forward during her leadership campaign. In fact, he blinked first when the markets first went wild, putting out a statement after what was described at the time as a heated row between him and Truss.

It’s going to be interesting to see who she appoints as Chancellor – and who would be willing to do the job. Could we see Penny Mordaunt in No 11, or some  have suggested Jeremy Hunt.

We just have to wait to see what Liz Truss says at the press conference later this afternoon. She’s not a great one for humility and if there was ever an occasion that called for that in huge amounts, this is it.

While a u-turn, or partial u-turn (a j-turn?) on the Budget of Chaos will likely calm down the markets, the damage has been done to people’s mortgages and they will be feeling that for years to come.

Ed Davey has called for a General Election to get this lot out of office:

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Lib Dems demand probe into Chancellor’s post-budget champagne party

Christine Jardine, the Lib Dem spokesperson has written to the Cabinet Secretary to ask for an enquiry into whether the champagne bash Kwasi Kwarteng attended on the night of his budgetary earthquake breached the Ministerial Code:

From The Observer:

“The image of the chancellor quaffing champagne with bankers just hours after announcing his tax cuts for the very wealthiest in society is bad enough,” she said. “But it would be unforgivable if it turns out Kwasi Kwarteng discussed his plans with hedge fund managers who have since been profiting from the fall in the pound.

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3 October 2022 – today’s press releases

  • Departing Conservative ministers handed over £410,000 in redundancy pay
  • Davey: Kwasi Kwarteng must resign so botched Budget can be scrapped
  • Conservative ministers slammed for holding 67 parties as British economy implodes
  • Kwarteng speech: Laughing about the turbulence is an insult to millions

Departing Conservative ministers handed over £410,000 in redundancy pay

Former Conservative ministers are set to be handed more than £410,000 in redundancy payments, new analysis by the Liberal Democrats have revealed.

This includes £18,860 for Boris Johnson, £16,876 for former cabinet ministers including Priti Patel and Michael Gove, and £14,491 for the former Solicitor General Alex Chalk.

The Liberal Democrats have called on Johnson and other outgoing ministers to forgo the thousands of pounds in redundancy payments, so the money can be used to support struggling families instead.

Under the Ministerial and Other Pensions and Salaries Act 1991, those resigning from office are entitled to 25% of the annual salaries they were paid when holding that office. Analysis by the Liberal Democrats suggests that, across government, this will lead to a total bill to the taxpayer of at least £410,642.

Commenting, Liberal Democrat Cabinet Office Spokesperson Christine Jardine, said

It is outrageous that as families cut back on food and heating, outgoing Conservative ministers are being awarded thousands of pounds, many of them after just a few weeks in the job.

It seems Liz Truss is against handouts for the British people, but not for her Conservative colleagues. Once again it’s one rule for Conservative MPs, another for everyone else.

Former ministers are given financial security, while struggling families and pensioners are facing economic chaos, higher bills and collapsing health services.

Outgoing Conservative ministers should do the decent thing and pass up their payoffs for the good of the country.

Davey: Kwasi Kwarteng must resign so botched Budget can be scrapped

Responding to Kwasi Kwarteng’s refusal to resign this morning despite his U-turn over the 45p tax rate, Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said:

Kwasi Kwarteng didn’t listen when people’s mortgages soared, the pound tanked and the economy nosedived. Now he’s only acting because of internal rows at the Conservative party conference.

It just shows the Conservatives are totally out of touch with the country.

The Chancellor has lost all credibility and must resign now. Then Parliament needs to be recalled so we can scrap this rotten Budget, offer extra help to struggling mortgage borrowers and ensure our NHS and schools get the funding they need.

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The Conservatives no longer stand for a stable economy

Friday’s Kwasi-Budget was not officially a budget, despite being on of the most important fiscal statements since the Thatcher era. Because it was not a budget, it was not scrutinised by the Office of Budget Responsibility. That is yet another example of the Conservatives trying to circumvent processes designed to ensure that government’s act rationally.

This was a budget that will make top earners even more wealthy, while leaving the country and the poorest more impoverished. It was a budget based on the discredited myth of trickle-down economics. It was a budget that will allow wealthier people to dine out in style while those on the breadline scramble for crumbs.

This is an idealist budget driven by a leader who is beginning to make Margaret Thatcher look left wing.

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Day 1 as lab rats: some views of the Budget

We knew yesterday’s budget was coming. Most of its measures had been trailed. Gone are the days when MPs find out what the Government is doing actually in the Chamber, even though that is what is supposed to happen.

The reality still came as a shock, though. You would expect me as a good old fashioned tax and spend liberal to be horrified by a reckless spending spree that made the rich richer and some of the poor very much poorer. I lived through the 80s when the last iteration of trickle down economics failed miserably. Mary Reid looked at the theory yesterday and found no evidence that it has ever worked.

This budget is exactly the last thing you want to see when we are on the precipice of recession. I believe in a state that uses its power to ensure that everyone’s basic needs to shelter, food, healthcare at the very least are met. We should not be tolerating hunger and poverty in this day and age and the measures announced yesterday will make life much harder for those on low incomes, particularly if they are working part time and are on Universal Credit.

But don’t just take my word for it. The way the markets tumbled and the pound crashed to its lowest level against the dollar for nearly three decades showed that they had no confidence in this either. The Guardian reports Paul Johnson from the Institute of Fiscal Studies as saying that the Chancellor was betting the house:

Today, the chancellor announced the biggest package of tax cuts in 50 years without even a semblance of an effort to make the public finance numbers add up. Instead, the plan seems to be to borrow large sums at increasingly expensive rates, put government debt on an unsustainable rising path and hope that we get better growth.

Former Cabinet Secretary Gus O’Donnell, who first joined the Treasury in 1979 said the budget was “not ideal.”

And Conservative columnist Tim Montgomerie welcomed us to our new lives as lab rats:

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After the Coalition: A Conservative agenda for Britain

Collections of policy essays from new or junior MPs rarely have much of an impact or shelf-life in British politics, but however fallible their predictions for the future they can be illuminating about the current state of the authors’ party and its broad ideological direction.

So it is with After the Coalition which is very different in tone and hope for the future from last year’s Which Way’s Up? by Nick Boles. The contrast is there in the sub-titles for the two books. Boles had “The future for coalition Britain” whilst the five authors behind this volume have gone for …

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