It wasn’t me: Ex-British PM Truss blames ‘system’ for failure

LONDON — Former British Prime Minister Liz Truss said its failure was not her fault.

On Sunday, Truss blamed a “powerful economic establishment” and internal Conservative Party opposition for the rapid collapse of her government, and said she still believed her tax-cutting policies were the right ones.

Britain’s shortest prime minister resigned in October, after six weeks on the job, after her inaugural budget plan caused market chaos.

Breaking her post-Prime Minister silence in the Sunday Telegraph newspaper, Truss said she had underestimated the resistance her free-market policies would face from the “system”.

“I don’t claim to be blameless in what happened, but basically a very powerful economic establishment didn’t give me a realistic chance to implement my policies, coupled with a lack of political support,” he said. she writes.

Truss took office in September after winning a Conservative Party leadership race to replace the scandal-tarnished Prime Minister Boris Johnson. His promise to spur economic growth with tax cuts and deregulation excited Tory members, but a budget containing 45 billion pounds ($54 billion) in unfunded tax cuts – including a cut of income tax for top earners – spooked the financial markets.

The prospect of increased debt and higher inflation caused the pound to plunge to its lowest level ever against the US dollar. The cost of government borrowing soared and the Bank of England had to step in to prop up the bond market and prevent a wider economic meltdown that threatened people’s pensions.

Truss first fired her head of treasury, Kwasi Kwarteng, then resigned.

In the article, she claimed her government had become a “scapegoat” for long-simmering instability with liability-focused investing, a form of bond market derivatives in which pension funds are heavily invested. ,

Truss said she still believed her low-tax, small-state agenda “was the right thing to do, but the forces opposing it were too great.” She claimed “large parts of the media and the wider public sphere” were left-leaning and criticized US President Joe Biden for calling his plan a mistake.

Critics have accused the former prime minister of rewriting history and using the populist playbook by blaming the system for its own failures.

Gavin Barwell, a Tory who was chief of staff to ex-Prime Minister Theresa May, tweeted at Truss: “You have been overthrown because within weeks you have lost the confidence of the financial markets, the electorate and of your own MPs. During a deep crisis in the cost of living, you thought it was a priority to cut taxes for the wealthiest people in the country.

Cambridge University economist Charles Read said he warned the Treasury in early September that a sudden economic stimulus package “risked leading to financial instability and a financial crisis.

“Last fall’s mini-budget crisis was predictable, avoidable & preventable,” he wrote on Twitter.

Truss’ article could put more pressure on Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, a former Treasury chief installed by the Conservatives to calm markets and stabilize the government after he leaves.

Sunak says tackling double-digit inflation is more important than immediate tax cuts. But with the economy still struggling – the International Monetary Fund says Britain will be the only major economy to contract this year – and the party well behind Labor in the opinion polls, some Tory lawmakers s are waving.

A faction inside the party is still pushing for immediate tax cuts, despite the damage caused by “Trussonomics”.

Lawmaker Jake Berry, the party’s former chairman, said that while Truss’ program “wasn’t delivered in the right way,” she had the right instincts.

“His view, we need to cut taxes, we need to create a growing economy, that’s what people want,” Berry told the BBC. ___

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