Tory credibility on economy is bankrupt after U-turn

Tory Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng has to go following his humiliating U-turn on tax cuts for the rich, the Scottish Greens say. 

His flagship policy over a 45p tax rate announced in a mini budget just ten days ago, has been scrapped in the face of mounting opposition.

Today he tried to dismiss it as a “distraction” and announced he was backing down in a post on Twitter. But the policy sparked a fall in the pound, intervention to protect pensions by the Bank of England and warnings from the IMF and others. 

Reacting to this morning’s retreat, Scottish Greens economy spokesperson Maggie Chapman said:

“This is a colossal U-turn from the Chancellor which leaves him humiliated and his position untenable. He has no option but to go. 

“It also brings into sharp focus the Prime Minister’s judgement for both appointing him in the first place and then signing off on his mini budget.

“The tax cut for the super rich in particular had all the hallmarks of being written on the back of a napkin over a bottle of champagne, but has quickly lost its fizz despite all their efforts to defend it. 

“Their package was always going to be cruel and unfair on struggling households, it has brought business to the brink and has saddled the country with eye watering debt.

“It is clear the Chancellor is finished, his credibility is bankrupt, and Liz Truss is clinging on in the face of mounting internal pressure. 

“She threw her Chancellor under a bus at the weekend to try and save her own skin, but the damage has been done."

She added:

“For this withering reverse to happen on the day of the Tory conference shows a party at war, a Cabinet divided and a Prime Minister without a clue. 

“People need strong, compassionate leadership. They need financial support to help them through this cost crisis. Most of all they need a government capable of leading all of us through the economic storm.

“Instead we have the Tories. 

“If their first plan was shambolic and cruel, what happens next now they have been forced to rip it up?

"All at a time when campaigners like the Joseph Rowntree Foundation are telling us one in five Scottish households have gone hungry or cold because of poverty.

“The Tories have always been the party of the super rich. Now they aren’t even that. 

“At Holyrood we will continue to mitigate the impacts of all of this with measures to help households through this energy and cost of living crisis, putting people and planet before profit.

“That’s in stark contrast to what we are seeing from Downing Street.”