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Liz Truss Claims She Wasn't Given Any 'realistic Chance' To Implement Tax-cutting Agenda

As she plans a political comeback, Truss said that there was a lack of Conservative support and that she pushed aside a “powerful economic establishment."

UK News
 
| Written By
Zaini Majeed
Liz Truss

IMAGE: AP


Ousted UK Prime Minister Liz Truss who became the shortest-serving British leader with just 45 days in office on Saturday said that she was "never given" an opportunity to implement her tax-cutting agenda. In her first comments related to her then chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng's £45bn package of unfunded tax cuts that roiled the financial markets, Truss said that there wasn't any “realistic chance” for her government to work on the tax-cutting agenda. The former premier of Britain acknowledged that she was "deeply disturbed by" the abrupt sacking of Kwarteng, a tough decision she made in a detailed piece she wrote for Sunday Telegraph.

"Kwasi Kwarteng had put together a brave package that was genuinely transformative," wrote Truss, adding that he was "original thinker and a great advocate for Conservative ideas." 

Truss stepped down from her role in October last year. Her mini-budget of September included £45bn worth of tax cuts that crashed the markets and plunged the Pound to an all-time low, forcing her out of office. 

Lack of Conservative support

As she plans a political comeback, Truss said that there was a lack of Conservative support and that she pushed aside a “powerful economic establishment” whom she held accountable for bringing her government crashing down. "I am not claiming to be blameless in what happened, but fundamentally I was not given a realistic chance to enact my policies by a very powerful economic establishment, coupled with a lack of political support," Truss wrote in her opinion piece. 

“Similarly, I underestimated the resistance inside the Conservative parliamentary party to move to a lower-tax, less-regulated economy," the ex-UK Prime Minister noted. Truss cut taxes to revive the economy post-COVID-19 to tackle the rising cost of living, and hiked government spending to help British households deal with high rates of inflation. She also unveiled plans to cut the top rate of income tax but failed to submit a workable plan to the Independent Budget Office. 

Her close aide told HuffPost that the former premier of the UK has spent a few months "to gather her thoughts" and is "now ready to speak about her time in office and the current state of play.” Her political ally, former cabinet minister Simon Clarke has also formulated a Conservative Growth Group to push for her tax-cutting agenda. While she plans a comeback into politics, there is division among Tory MPs about Truss' controversial policies devised to boost UK's economic growth. The ex-UK Premier openly agreed in the 4,000-word essay, that she isn't, after all, "blameless," adding that the experience was also "bruising for me personally." Truss criticized the resistance she faced from the Tories to abolish the 45p top rate of income tax. "I assumed upon entering Downing Street that my mandate would be respected and accepted. How wrong I was. While I anticipated resistance to my programme from the system, I underestimated the extent of it," she wrote. 

"Frankly, we were also pushing water uphill. Large parts of the media and the wider public sphere had become unfamiliar with key arguments about tax and economic policy and over time sentiment had shifted leftward," Truss noted. 

"Regrettably, the government became a useful scapegoat for problems that had been brewing over a number of months," she continued to add.

Truss stepped down from her role as the British Prime Minister after earlier last year, her then Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, had to roll back virtually all of her economic agenda. "I recognize, given the situation, I cannot deliver the mandate on which I was elected," she said during her farewell speech. "I have spoken to King Charles to notify him I’m resigning as leader of the Conservative Party," Truss said. The 47-year-old was succeeded by her then-rival the ex-British Finance minister Rishi Sunak who emerged as a frontrunner in the Tory race. Truss became Britain's third female Prime Minister to be appointed after Margaret Thatcher and Theresa May.  

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