Liz Truss has a closed face, she looks straight ahead, seated in her appointed place in the House of Commons. The scene is astonishing, almost painful: this Monday afternoon, October 17, the leader listens to her new Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, methodically destroy the “minibudget” which she has fiercely defended since it was returned. public on September 23. She is still British Prime Minister, but she has clearly lost the game.
The leader has just been deprived of her main policy, which she had put at the heart of her Conservative primary campaign. It is now the financial markets that are dictating the government’s tempo and Jeremy Hunt who has taken the helm in an attempt to restore their confidence, lost after investors received spectacularly bad reviews from Liz Truss’ economic plans – massive tax cuts not financed. The Bank of England had to intervene several times to support the British government bonds they were abandoning.
No more attacks against a supposed “anti-growth coalition” disparaging his plans or dreams of “Singapore on the Thames” that Liz Truss, a follower of “less possible State and taxes”, hoped to put into practice. The ” priority ” of the country is now at the “stability”, struck his Chancellor of the Exchequer, 72 hours after taking office, on October 14, replacing Kwasi Kwarteng, the architect of the “minibudget” with the head of government. Jeremy Hunt, ex-health minister of David Cameron and Theresa May, considered a moderate in the Tory ranks, announced the abandonment of the planned reduction from 20% to 19% of the first tax bracket on the revenue. He also confirmed the increase from 19% to 25% of corporate income tax in April 2023.
“Austerity, season 2”
Twice unsuccessful prime minister Jeremy Hunt even sacrificed part of the huge £100bn (€115bn) aid package announced on September 8 by Liz Truss, just two days later his arrival in Downing Street. This mechanism, aimed at limiting household energy bills to an average of 2,500 pounds sterling per year for the next two years, had been rather well received by the media and the markets, and the leader was taking advantage of it to avoid embarrassing questions about the “minibudget”. This aid should now be limited to six months: from April 2023, it will only benefit the most vulnerable households, Mr Hunt said.
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