Nfter the dismissal of his predecessor, Kwasi Kwarteng, the new British finance minister, Jeremy Hunt, has acknowledged the government’s failings on tax issues. “There were mistakes,” Hunt told Sky News on Saturday morning in his first interview since Prime Minister Liz Truss appointed him to succeed Kwarteng the day before.
Among other things, he referred to the cancellation of the top tax rate, which has since been canceled again. What the country needs now and what the market wants is stability.
It is a great honor to be finance secretary, stressed Hunt, who was previously British foreign and health secretary. “But I want to be honest with people: we have some very difficult decisions ahead of us.”
Tax increases not excluded
He wanted to show that the tax and spending plans could be paid for. He hinted that there could be some tax hikes as well. At the same time he supported the basic direction of Truss’ economic policy.
Truss appointed Hunt as the new Treasury Secretary on Friday, after she had just fired Kwarteng. Observers see Kwarteng’s dismissal as an attempt by the head of government to save her own political career.
After only a few weeks in office, she is already heavily criticized for her economic policy. She and Kwarteng had announced massive tax cuts with no plans to fund them. Severe market turbulence followed. In the process, Truss first received the cancellation of the top tax rate. On Friday she also said that the corporate tax should now – as planned by the previous government – be increased.