Liz Truss says she is prepared to be unpopular as she sets out policies aimed at delivering growth – UK Politics Live | Policy ThePipaNews

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Truss says she is prepared to be unpopular as she sets out policies to deliver growth

Sky News broadcasts an interview with Liz Truss past Beth Rigby, Sky’s political editor.

Q: Why is it fair for people to take the pain of higher energy bills when energy companies are making so much profit?

Panty says the plan to manage energy bills will cost the government money. The government also has a plan to guarantee a long-term energy supply, she says.

She says she wouldn’t let the burden fall on people and businesses.

Q: But you’d rather taxpayers foot the bill than business?

Panty says on Friday that the chancellor will explain how this will be paid.

The energy plan is likely to reduce inflation by five percentage points, and encourage growth, she says.

Q: Labour’s tax windfall policy is supported by 68% of the public. Are you ready to be unpopular?

Panty replies: “Yes. Yes I am.”

Key events

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Summary of the afternoon

Liz Truss posed for a photograph with Emmanuel Macron, the French president, as they held their first bilateral meeting since Truss told Tory campaigners the jury was still out on whether Macron was
Liz Truss posed for a photograph with Emmanuel Macron, the French president, as they held their first bilateral meeting since Truss told Tory campaigners the jury was still out on whether Macron was “friend or foe”. Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA

Legacy problems ‘can be improved’, says new Northern Ireland Secretary

The Government’s Bill aimed at tackling the legacy of Northern Ireland’s Troubles could be improved, Chris Heaton-Harris, the new Northern Ireland Secretary has said. Speaking in Belfast he said:

I know it is a bill that could be improved and so I look forward to the House of Lords making some views on how it can be improved. I know there is no ideal solution to inheritance.

Chris Heaton-Harris holds a press conference in Belfast.
Chris Heaton-Harris holds a press conference in Belfast.
Photo: Liam McBurney/PA

Truss says pubs will be among ‘vulnerable businesses’ getting help with energy bills for more than 6 months

Liz Truss also recorded an interview at the top of the Empire State Building with ITV Anushka Asthana. Much of it echoed what she said in her BBC and Sky interviews, but she also had some fresh lines. Here they are.

  • Truss said pubs would be among the “vulnerable businesses” that will receive ongoing support with energy bills after the first six-month support package ends. Details of the full initiative will be announced tomorrow, giving the broad outline Truss gave in her statement to MPs before the Queen died. Asked what would happen to businesses that need help for more than six months, Truss said:

For companies that are vulnerable, that cannot afford to invest in their own energy supply, we will provide support in the longer term. That includes businesses like pubs.

The business secretary [Jacob Rees-Mogg] conduct a review of exactly which companies will be included; the review will be completed within three months. I can assure people who own pubs that they are exactly the type of business that will get the long-term support.

  • She did not rule out extending some of the specific measures taken this winter into the next financial year to help poorer households with energy bills. The Truss Energy Price Guarantee will run for two years, but measures announced by Rishi Sunak earlier this year, which offer targeted help to poor households, pensioners and disabled people, will only last through the winter. Asked what could be done to help these groups after the spring, Truss said: “Next year, of course, we will continue to assess the situation as we go forward.”

When corporation tax was reduced, we saw more revenue coming into the treasury. And what we will do in terms of corporate tax is to keep it at the same level and keep it competitive compared to other countries.

  • Truss suggested that “vested interests” were against the plan to lift the cap on bankers’ bonuses. Asked what those vested interests were, Truss said she was making a general point that vested interests are opposed to reform.

Liz Truss is interviewed on top of the Empire State Building in New York.
Liz Truss is interviewed on top of the Empire State Building in New York. Photo: Toby Melville/Reuters

The Labor MP Kevin Brennan says he’s had surgery for prostate cancer and shouldn’t need any further treatment. He has written about it in a Twitter thread.

Some personal news – one thread – last week I had surgery at UHW Cardiff for prostate cancer – I’m recovering very well and shouldn’t need any further treatment. (1/6)

— Kevin Brennan MP (@KevinBrennanMP) September 20, 2022

Keir Starmer has paid tribute to Rosie Cooper, who is stepping down as a Labor MP (see 11.51am). He said:

Rosie’s commitment to the Labor Party and West Lancashire as their MP since 2005 has been inspiring.

As well as being a dedicated campaigner for her constituents in Parliament, Rosie has paved the way for deaf people and future generations by securing the British Sign Language Act.

Her constituents hold Rosie in the highest regard, a testament to 17 years of hard work and dedication to them. I know she will be missed.

Cooper is expected to formally resign to allow for a by-election later in the fall.

Truss rejects claims her economic policies will prompt the Bank of England to raise interest rates

Liz Truss has also recorded an interview with the BBC’s political editor, Chris Mason. As she did in her Sky News interview, she insisted she was willing to take unpopular decisions in her quest to promote growth. (Sky’s Beth Rigby asked about Truss’s decision not to introduce a new windfall tax on energy companies – a plan supported by two-thirds of voters; Mason asked Truss about her proposal to lift the cap on bankers’ bonuses.)

Here are some other lines from the BBC interview.

  • Truss said she did not accept that her economic policies, which include significant tax cuts, would encourage the Bank of England to raise interest rates. Most economists believe that a tax cut on the planned scale will be inflationary, leading the Bank to raise interest rates by more than planned. But Truss said she did not accept this. When Bricklayer put it to her that her plans would lead to people paying more for their mortgages, Panty answered:

I do not accept that analysis. And indeed, the energy package that we announced, and the business secretary will say more about this week, is expected to reduce inflation by up to five percentage points, as a large part of the cost of inflation has been driven by higher energy prices, mainly caused by Putin’s war in Ukraine. So the intervention that the UK government is doing will help to reduce inflation and also increase economic growth.

  • She refused to accept that the recent fall in the value of the pound was a cause for concern. Asked if she was worried about that, she said: “My belief is that the UK’s economic fundamentals are strong. We have relatively low debt compared to the rest of the G7. We have strong employment.”

Liz Truss gives an interview in the Empire State Building in New York today.
Liz Truss gives an interview in the Empire State Building in New York today. Photo: Toby Melville/PA

Q: What is your message to people worried about interest rates going up and about a tough winter?

Panty says her government will take every step and strain to get the economy going.

We will get through this, she says.

And that’s the end of the interview.

Panty says that Britain has had low growth because it has had relatively low capital investment.

Yet Britain has one of the best financial centers in the world, she says.

She says she wants to see the money “put to good use across the country”.

Q: But people care about justice too, don’t they?

Panty says it’s an argument from the left. She says that by keeping taxes down, she will grow the economy. And that will lead to an increase in tax revenue.

Panty says she doesn’t accept the claim that tax cuts won’t help people in general.

People care about things like seeing roads built or getting better mobile coverage, she says.

Truss says she is prepared to be unpopular as she sets out policies to deliver growth

Sky News broadcasts an interview with Liz Truss past Beth Rigby, Sky’s political editor.

Q: Why is it fair for people to take the pain of higher energy bills when energy companies are making so much profit?

Panty says the plan to manage energy bills will cost the government money. The government also has a plan to guarantee a long-term energy supply, she says.

She says she wouldn’t let the burden fall on people and businesses.

Q: But you’d rather taxpayers foot the bill than business?

Panty says on Friday that the chancellor will explain how this will be paid.

The energy plan is likely to reduce inflation by five percentage points, and encourage growth, she says.

Q: Labour’s tax windfall policy is supported by 68% of the public. Are you ready to be unpopular?

Panty replies: “Yes. Yes I am.”

Biden says he is “sick and tired of draining the economy” ahead of the meeting with Truss

Liz Truss is to have her first proper meeting with Joe Biden, the President of the United States, tomorrow. It’s not clear what prompted him to post this on Twitter about half an hour ago, but it suggests his bilateral with Truss tomorrow will not be a meeting of the minds.

Liz Truss is more committed to draining the economy than any British Prime Minister since at least Margaret Thatcher in 1979 (and even Thatcher was in power for nine years before she finally managed to cut the top rate of income tax to 40%). Biden says he is “sick and tired” of this approach because it never works.

I’m tired of draining the economy. It has never worked.

We build an economy from the bottom up.

— President Biden (@POTUS) September 20, 2022

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