Back to Liz Truss, and here is a summary of the main points from her interview with Nick Robinson on the Today programme.
- Truss claimed that “economic orthodoxy” followed by governments over the past 20 years has failed to deliver proper economic growth. (See 9.38am.) The Labour party is also saying that the big problem over the past 12 years has been the UK’s relatively poor performance on growth, although its analysis of why growth has been so weak is not the same as Truss’s. She blamed ideas backed by the Treasury and the Financial Times. Chris Giles, the FT’s economics editor, says he was surprised to learn he’s been running the country – not Truss and her colleagues.
- Truss claimed her tax cuts would bring down inflation. She said: “My tax cuts will decrease inflation.” When it was put to her that most leading economists think they would be inflationary, she cited Patrick Minford as an economist who supports her view.
- She claimed that the tax increases introduced by Rishi Sunak as chancellor made the UK an international outlier, because no other countries were raising taxes in the current international climate.
- She rejected claims that her plan to cut taxes was a gamble, because there was a risk tax cuts could leave the government without the income it would need for public services. She said:
What is a gamble is what we’re doing at the moment. What is the gamble is what we’re doing at the moment because, currently, the United Kingdom is projected to head for a recession. So we need to do something different in order to get growth going, in order to put money in people’s pockets.
- She said she was committed to the extra spending for the NHS promised by Boris Johnson, even though she was also planning to get rid of the health and social care levy that would have funded some of it.
I wanted Boris to carry on as prime minister. I think he did a fantastic job with the 2019 election, winning us a massive majority. He delivered Brexit, he delivered the vaccines.
Regrettably, we got to a position where he didn’t command the support of our parliamentary party.
My judgment was that he admitted that he had made a mistake, or several mistakes, over the course of the last year, but the positive side of the balance sheet was extremely positive.
- She denied that she was modelling herself on Margaret Thatcher. Asked about claims she copies Thatcher’s photo opportunities, she said: “I am my own person.”
- She ruled out…