Kwasi Kwarteng, under pressure to drop more mini-budget components that have caused market turbulence, stated, “Our position has not changed.”
The Chancellor has stated his “complete attention” on implementing the tax reduction proposals to stimulate the UK economy.
Mr Kwarteng and Downing Street said there would be no more modifications to the package. Still, investors and analysts see this as a red flag and anticipate action to eliminate part of the tax cuts to show a commitment to fiscal responsibility.
Reportedly, No. 10 and the Treasury are talking about the promise to scrap a planned increase in company tax and other parts of the £43 billion tax-cutting plan.
A Downing Street spokesperson wouldn’t say anything about what was being talked about or whether the company tax agreement might be scrapped, but she did confirm that “work is happening between the Chancellor and the Prime Minister, as you’d expect, ahead of the medium-term fiscal plan.”
Mr. Kwarteng, who was in Washington for the annual conference of the International Monetary Fund, was asked several times about the possibility of a U-turn, and he never said it couldn’t happen.
He reaffirmed, “our position hasn’t changed,” and added, “I will come up with the medium-term fiscal plan on October 31, as I mentioned earlier this week, and there will be more clarity then.”
When asked if a change in the corporate tax rate was in the works, he responded,
“What I’m fully focused on is delivering on the mini-budget.”
First Lady Liz Truss and Second Lady Kwasi Kwarteng (Stefan Rousseau/PA)
Mr. Kwarteng said his job was safe despite rumors that discussions were taking place in London about abandoning his plans while he was on the other side of the Atlantic.
Mr. Kwarteng answered, “Absolutely 100%,” when asked if he and Prime Minister Liz Truss would still be in power in a month. I have no intention of leaving.
The prime minister and I are in constant communication,” he assured the media. There is zero distraction from our efforts to implement the expansion strategy.
Mr. Kwarteng admitted that the UK had “turbulence” after his mini-budget, but he argued that the country’s economy was simply experiencing the same difficulties as those in the rest of the globe.
‘What I’m going to admit is that it’s a really precarious situation worldwide,’ he said.
But the head of the IMF has suggested that Mr. Kwarteng may need to make some adjustments to his strategy.
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