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UK’s Truss presses on with ‘controversial’ economic plan, says it’s the right course

file photo: britain leadership contenders take part in conservative party hustings event
Prime minister Truss

Prime Minister Liz Truss defended her economic plan that has roiled financial markets, saying on Thursday she was willing to take “controversial” steps to reignite growth and would not reverse course despite the turmoil.

“This is the right plan that we’ve set out,” she said in a series of interviews with local BBC radio stations.

Asked if she would reverse the mini budget that shocked markets with the scale of its tax cuts and government borrowing, Truss said: “I don’t accept the premise of the question.”

“We are facing difficult economic times. I don’t deny this. This is a global problem. But what is absolutely right is the UK government has stepped in and acted at this difficult time.”

Finance minister Kwasi Kwarteng sparked turmoil in financial markets last week when he delivered a plan to cut taxes without detailing the impact on the public finances or how the government would reform the economy to spur growth.

The pound sank and British government bond yields soared, forcing the Bank of England to revive its bond-buying programme in an emergency move on Wednesday to shore up pension funds. Read full story

Truss said the government had to take urgent and decisive action to protect households and businesses from surging energy bills.

“Of course, that means taking controversial and difficult decisions. But I’m prepared to do that as prime minister because what’s important to me is that we get our economy moving.”

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