Liz Truss Talks Down Fears Of A Recession, Saying UK Must Have More 'Ambition'

The Tory leadership favourite said she did not believe forecasts by the Bank of England were 'inevitable'.
Truss's optimism comes after Tory heavyweight Michael Gove accused her of taking a "holiday from reality" with her plans to cut tax during the cost of living crisis.
Truss's optimism comes after Tory heavyweight Michael Gove accused her of taking a "holiday from reality" with her plans to cut tax during the cost of living crisis.
PAUL ELLIS via Getty Images

Tory leadership frontrunner Liz Truss has talked down fears of a recession, saying she did not believe an economic downturn was “inevitable”.

The foreign secretary pledged to unleash a “small business and self-employed revolution” if elected prime minister in a bid to “unleash” opportunity in Britain.

In an interview with the Sun on Sunday, Truss said she would also review tax rules for the self-employed that force workers such as electricians and plumbers to pay too much.

Outlining her plans for the economy, she said: “Why shouldn’t Britain have the next Google or the next Facebook? Why shouldn’t it be a British company?”

“It’s about that level of ambition. There is too much talk that there’s going to be a recession. I don’t believe that’s inevitable. We can unleash opportunity here in Britain.”

Her words come shortly after Tory heavyweight Michael Gove revealed he was backing Rishi Sunak in the leadership contest, accusing Truss of being on a “holiday from reality” with her plans to cut tax.

This week it was confirmed that inflation had hit a 40-year high of 10.1 per cent thanks to a spike in the price of household staples. The Bank of England also recently warned that the UK could suffer the longest recession since the 2008 financial crisis as it raised interest rates to 1.75 per cent.

Truss has promised to “cut taxes from day one” if elected Tory leader, arguing it would kickstart growth in the economy — despite warnings from economists that her plans risk stoking inflation.

She would immediately reverse the 1.25 percentage point rise in national insurance and has also pledged to cut green levies on energy bills and cancel the proposed hike in corporation tax.

But in an article for the Times, former levelling up secretary Gove accused Truss of putting “the stock options of FTSE 100 executives” before the nation’s poorest people.

“I am deeply concerned that the framing of the leadership debate by many has been a holiday from reality,” he wrote.

“The answer to the cost-of-living crisis cannot be simply to reject further ‘handouts’ and cut tax.

“Proposed cuts to national insurance would favour the wealthy, and changes to corporation tax apply to big businesses, not small entrepreneurs.

“I cannot see how safeguarding the stock options of FTSE 100 executives should ever take precedence over supporting the poorest in our society, but at a time of want it cannot be the right priority.”

Gove’s intervention could prompt jitters in the Truss camp after an Opinium poll gave Labour an eight-point lead over the Tories.

The survey of 2,001 adults this week put Labour on a 39 per cent vote share to the Tories’ 31 per cent.

It also put Starmer ahead of Truss on 31 per cent compared with her 23 per cent. When the choice was Starmer versus Sunak, 29 per cent backed the Labour and 23 per cent opted for the former chancellor.

The bounce in Starmer’s ratings come after Labour pledged to freeze the energy price cap at its current level of £1,971 a year.


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