United Kingdom

Liz Truss confirms tax cuts for the rich were ‘Kwarteng’s decision’

The PM has previously defended the statement (Picture: BBC)

Liz Truss says the decision to slash the top rate of tax for Britain’s wealthiest people was not discussed with her cabinet – adding that it was made by Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng.

The prime minister admitted she ‘should have laid the ground better’ before Mr Kwarteng’s mini-budget sparked a market meltdown.

Ms Truss has repeatedly attempted to claim that the fallout in the wake of her Chancellor’s statement is linked to global problems.

But experts are in agreement that Mr Kwarteng’s statement sparked soaring interest rates, turmoil in Government bond markets and financial chaos in the City.

There are now question marks about the Chancellor’s future and pointing the finger of blame at him on the unpopular cut to the top rate of tax from 45% to 40% could spark further questions about whether he will stay in the job.

Speaking from the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham this morning, Ms Truss defended the package but conceded it could have been communicated better.

The PM told the BBC’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg: ‘I’m afraid there is an issue that interest rates are going up around the world and we do have to face that.

‘But I do want to say to people I understand their worries about what has happened this week.

‘I do stand by the package we announced and I stand by the fact we announced it quickly, because we had to act.

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‘But I do accept we should have laid the ground better… I have learnt from that and I will make sure that in future we do a better job of laying the ground.’

Ms Truss also declined to keep Boris Johnson’s promise to increase benefits in line with inflation.

The PM refused to rule out cutting public spending.

She said the cabinet did not discuss slashing the top rate of tax and said the decision was made by her Chancellor.

When asked how many people voted for her plan, the PM paused awkwardly and then deflected by talking about the war in Ukraine.

More to follow.

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MORE : Liz Truss’ approval rating plummets following mini-budget, new poll reveals

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