Tag Archives: mini budget 2022

Olney: PM’s apology brings nothing but cold comfort

Yesterday afternoon, Penny Mordaunt was given an impossible job – defending the indefensible. She was asked to deputise for the Prime Minister in the Commons for Labour’s urgent question on the sacking of the Chancellor.

Mordaunt did much better than Truss ever could have done. She had a reasonable balance of “**** you”, humility, and even a bit of sincerity in the face of quite an onslaught from opposition MPs. It is hard to imagine anyone having a go at the opposition when they were part of a government that had made a crap economic situation much worse.

Labour missed a trick …

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Olney: Jeremy Hunt expects people to pay for Conservative mistakes

Jeremy Hunt’s media round this morning was sobering stuff. Tax rises and public spending cuts seem to be the order of the day.  While he might talk about protecting the most vulnerable, Conservatives have never been good at understanding how to do that.

Our Treasury spokesperson Sarah Olney had this to say:

This may be a new Chancellor but it’s still the same old Conservative party whose failed economic experiment has cost this country billions.  Now Jeremy Hunt expects struggling families and pensioners to pay the price for those mistakes.

Thousands of families are facing increased mortgage costs and rising prices at the checkouts while our struggling public services will have their spending slashed.

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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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Why our Country and our Party need an Emergency Lib Dem Special Conference – Now

In less than 26 minutes on Friday 23 September Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng took an axe to what remains of the British Economy and the hopes and prospects of so many ordinary people, and totally destroyed the last vestiges that the Conservatives are the party of Economic competence. By the end of the day the pound had crashed over 4% in value (and is still falling) and the FTSE a further 2%, undermining the savings, pensions, and prospects of workers, the retired and the unemployed, be they Teachers, Doctors, Farmers, workers in industry or workers in entertainment. It affects them all.

However only a few days before, Federal Board and Federal Conference Committee decided to completely cancel Party Conference and put everything on hold until Spring Conference is held In York next March. While the decision that it would be seen to be inappropriate to hold conference during the period leading up to the Queen’s funeral was totally justified, it was totally misguided to think that the Lib Dems, as a party, should have no opportunity to say anything about the new prime minister and her deeply damaging new ideas for six months.

Every Lib Dem who met Liz Truss when she was, temporarily, a member of our party, seems to have quickly formed the view that she was a young lady with an eye for self-publicity and an extremely radical view on things – but it wasn’t a Liberal Democratic view, as she quickly found out as they began to question the reasoning behind her vision.

Everyone who works in Business knows that real growth and progress comes slowly, and need careful planning and sustained amounts of effort over years and sometimes decades.  The desire for a quick fix, a dash for growth based on throwing vast amounts of borrowed money at its supporters, underpinned by a total lack of understanding of simple economic realities is no substitute for hard work and effort.  Sacking a Permanent Secretary on Day One and calling the most outrageous gamble with our nation’s economy “A Fiscal Event” in order to avoid OBR scrutiny shows linguistic cunning that Vladimir Putin would be proud of.

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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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Just deserts at Conservative Conference

Last week Ed Davey called on the Conservatives to cancel their Conference and sort out the economic mess they had created.

After days of rebellion, doom and u-turns, I bet they wish they had listened to him.

They aren’t getting the best press, that’s for sure, but then they don’t deserve it.

Kwasi Kwarteng’s feeble attempts at humour in his speech belie any contrition. And I doubt many of those who are now condemned to years of high mortgage payments will feel that either he or Liz Truss truly do get it.

The u-turns on the 45p tax rate and the publication of the OBR forecasts, although major events, are not the only things that need to change.

The Conservatives are showing themselves up as way nastier than they were when Theresa May gave her warning to Conservative Conference a whole twenty years ago.  This generation of leaders seem to have taken it as encouragement to become even worse.

For example, party Chairman Jake Berry had this to say to people struggling to pay their bills this Winter:

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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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