Rachel Reeves calls Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng 'desperate gamblers chasing losing run' as mini-budget unveiled
The shadow chancellor warned the Government has served up a 'menu without prices'
Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng are two “desperate gamblers chasing a losing run” with an economic plan rewarding the “already wealthy”, according to Rachel Reeves.
The shadow chancellor took aim at the Prime Minister and Chancellor as she warned the Government has served up a “menu without prices”, and questioned what Mr Kwarteng has “got to hide” by not allowing immediate independent forecasts of his plans.
She said Mr Kwarteng’s statement to the Commons had acted as a “comprehensive demolition” of the Conservatives’ record in power over the last 12 years.
Ms Reeves told MPs: “We have had six so-called plans for growth from the Conservatives since 2010 – here they are, a litany of failure every single one of them.”
She said the Government lacked a credible plan to deliver growth, adding: “The Prime Minister and Chancellor are like two desperate gamblers in a casino chasing a losing run.
“The argument peddled by the Chancellor isn’t a great new idea or a game-changer, as the minister said, as much as they’d like us to think so.
“What this plan adds up to is to keep corporation tax where it is today, and take national insurance contributions back to where they were in March. Some new plan.”
She added: “It is all based on an outdated ideology that says if we simply reward those who are already wealthy, the whole of society will benefit.
“They have decided to replace levelling up with trickle down.
“As (US) president Biden said this week, he is sick and tired of trickle-down economics. And he is right to be. It is discredited, it is inadequate and it will not unleash the wave of investment that we need.”
Ms Reeves criticised the Government for not having independent forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) in connection with the statement, adding: “Never has a Government borrowed so much and explained so little.
“Economic institutions matter, yet this Government has undermined the Bank of England, sacked the respected permanent secretary at the Treasury and silenced the Office for Budget Responsibility.
“This is no way to build confidence, this is no way to build economic growth.”
The major spending package also included:
– A cut to stamp duty, meaning 200,000 less people will pay the tax on house purchases.
– The introduce of VAT-free shopping for overseas visitors.
– Legislation to force trade unions to put pay offers to a member vote so strikes can only be called once negotiations have fully broken down.
– Confirmation of plans to make around 120,000 more people on Universal Credit take active steps to seek more and better paid work, or face having their benefits reduced.