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British Prime Minister Liz Truss defends economic plan that sent pound tumbling

British Prime Minister Liz Truss defends economic plan that sent pound tumbling

British Prime Minister Liz Truss visits Berkeley Modular, in Northfleet, Kent, Britain on Sep 23, 2022. (Dylan Martinez/Pool Photo via AP)

LONDON: British Prime Minister Liz Truss defended her economic plan on Thursday (Sep 29) and said she’s willing to make “difficult decisions” to get the economy growing.

In her first public comments since her government’s announcement of billions in uncosted tax cuts roiled markets and drove the pound to record lows, Truss said Britain was facing a “very, very difficult” economic situation. But she said the problems were global and spurred by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

She spoke after the Bank of England took emergency action on Wednesday to stabilise UK financial markets and head off a crisis in the broader economy after the government spooked investors with a program of unfunded tax cuts, sending the pound tumbling and the cost of government debt soaring.

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.

Truss told BBC local radio that "we had to take urgent action to get our economy growing, get Britain moving and also deal with inflation".

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."

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."

Source: Agencies/hz
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