Labour's Rachel Reeves Slams Tories Over Mini Budget For The 'Wealthy'

She said Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng were two “desperate gamblers chasing a losing run”.
Rachel Reeves
Rachel Reeves
Parliament TV

Rachel Reeves slammed the government’s mini budget today, saying it rewards the “already wealthy”.

The shadow chancellor described Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng as two “desperate gamblers chasing a losing run”.

The Labour frontbencher said the government had served up a “menu without prices”.

She tore into the chancellor after he announced a surprise slash on income tax for the country’s highest earners.

The controversial decision will benefit 629,000 earners on salaries higher than £150,000 - saving them on average £10,000 a year.

Reeves told MPs: “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.”

Reeves said their plans were all based on an “outdated ideology that says if we simply reward those who are already wealthy, the whole of society will benefit”.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,” she added.

“As 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.”

The chancellor has come under fire for preventing the independent Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) from making the economic forecasts usually published alongside a budget, sparking accusations that he is avoiding scrutiny.

The lack of OBR data means there will be no independent analysis of whether the announcements breach the government’s existing budget rules or their impact on growth.

Reeves questioned what Kwarteng had “got to hide” by not allowing immediate independent forecasts of his plans and added: “Never has a government borrowed so much and explained so little.”

Kwarteng said the slash on income tax for the country’s highest earners will “simplify” the tax system, make Britain more competitive and “incentivise growth”.

He added: “I’m not going to cut the additional rate of tax today. I’m going to abolish it altogether.

“From April 2023 we will have a single higher rate of income tax of 40 per cent. This will simplify the tax system and make Britain more competitive. It will reward enterprise and work. It will incentivise growth. It will benefit the whole economy and the whole country.”


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