DThe British government, which is under great pressure, intends to present the cornerstones of its new budget this Monday. As the Treasury Department announced in London, the new finance minister, Jeremy Hunt, who was only appointed on Friday, will announce some of the measures in his medium-term budget two weeks earlier than originally planned.
Conservative Prime Minister Liz Truss fired her previous finance minister, Kwasi Kwarteng, on Friday and replaced him with former foreign minister Hunt. On Sunday, she met with Hunt at her country home to work out the new budget. The performance was then initially announced for October 31st.
Truss has been under massive pressure for days. Even the American President Joe Biden criticized their now discarded tax plans. During a visit to Oregon state over the weekend, Biden said he didn’t agree with the approach of rolling out tax breaks for the super-rich at a time like this. “I wasn’t the only one who thought this was a mistake.” It’s not up to him, it’s up to Great Britain to judge.
Biden was speaking to reporters during a stop at an ice cream parlor in Portland. It is unusual for a US President to so clearly criticize a domestic policy decision by a close ally.
Truss is struggling for office after just a few weeks as prime minister. She had prevailed in an internal party election as the successor to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson – primarily because she promised massive tax breaks. However, these projects are about to fail miserably because there are no plans for counter-financing.
The financial markets reacted with severe turbulence. Truss then made several U-turns: first she reversed the abolition of the top tax rate, then on Friday she not only said goodbye to her finance minister, but also to a planned tax break for corporate tax.
The plans had led to unrest on the financial markets and massive resentment in the conservative governing party. Even after she left, Truss continued to face harsh criticism and calls for her to be replaced. British media were already speculating about her successor at the weekend.