Liz Truss Points Finger At Kwasi Kwarteng Over 45p Tax Cut Fiasco

The prime minister said it was the chancellor's decision to abolish the rate paid by the UK's highest earners.
Liz Truss is interviewed by Laura Kuenssberg at the Conservative conference.
Liz Truss is interviewed by Laura Kuenssberg at the Conservative conference.
Jacob King via PA Wire/PA Images

Liz Truss has blamed Kwasi Kwarteng for the row which has engulfed the government over the decision to cut taxes for the rich.

The prime minister said it was the chancellor’s decision to axe the 45p income tax rate paid by those earning more than £150,000.

She also revealed that the controversial decision - which contributed to the turmoil which hit the UK economy in the wake of Kwarteng’s mini-budget - was taken without the cabinet being consulted.

However, Truss rejected calls by Tory MPs for government to U-turn.

Asked on the BBC this morning if she was sticking to the decision to axe the 45p rate, the PM said: “Yes, and it is part of an overall package of making our tax system simpler and lower.”

Truss said the 45p rate “actually raises very little and makes our tax system more complicated”.

Asked if the whole cabinet had been consulted, the PM said: “No, no we didn’t. It was a decision that the chancellor made.”

She added: “We have committed and I committed during the leadership campaign, to make our system more competitive, to lower our taxes and to simplify our taxes, and I think that’s fundamentally important.”

Former cabinet minister - and Boris Johnson ally - accused Truss of “throwing your chancellor under a bus”.

Elsewhere in her interview, Truss admitted that mistakes had been made over the mini-budget, but insisted she was sticking to her guns despite the wave of criticism she has faced in the past week.

“I do stand by the package we announced and I stand by the fact we announced it quickly, because we had to act,” she said.

“But I do accept we should have laid the ground better… I have learnt from that and I will make sure that in future we do a better job of laying the ground.”

She also dropped a clear hint that she will ditch Boris Johnson’s commitment to raise benefits by inflation as the government seeks to cut public spending.

But she insisted the triple lock for pensions - which guarantees an inflation-level rise - will remain.


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