U.K. Prime Minister Liz Truss ousted finance minister Kwasi Kwarteng on Friday before scrapping a key part of a controversial economic package that roiled markets, reports Axios.
"It is clear that parts of our mini budget went further and faster than the markets were expecting," Truss said at a press conference. "So the way we are delivering our mission right now has to change. We need to act now to reassure the markets of our fiscal discipline."
U.K. finance minister ousted after tax cut plan causes chaos (Axios)
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Excerpt from Axios: Truss and Kwarteng, who was the chancellor of the Exchequer, spent an immense amount of political capital attempting to implement their tax cut plan. They had hoped the cuts would stimulate growth, but it instead sparked criticism from their own party and severely weakened the pound, which at one point fell to a record low against the dollar. The proposal — which would've cut about $48 billion worth of taxes if implemented in full — pushed the Bank of England to intervene to prevent a broader economic crisis. In a dramatic U-turn on Friday, Truss said she would raise the country's corporate tax rate and implement a hike planned under former Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
According to BBC News, Liz Truss has described sacking her chancellor and junking a major economic policy after just 39 days as prime minister as "difficult".
This is difficult, Liz Truss admits after major U-turn (BBC News)
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Excerpt from BBC News: In a brief statement after a day of turmoil, she reversed planned cuts to business tax aimed at boosting growth. But she insisted she would stay on as PM to see through her "mission" to get the economy growing. "I'm absolutely determined to see through what I promised - to deliver a higher growth, more prosperous United Kingdom to see us though the storm we face," Ms Truss said. The prime minister has appointed former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt - who backed Rishi Sunak in the Tory leadership contest - as the new chancellor.
In a related story from Reuters, a British newspaper on Friday pitted Liz Truss in a race against a lettuce, asking readers if they thought the under-fire prime minister would lose her job before the vegetable decayed.
Can Liz Truss outlast a lettuce, UK tabloid asks in Twitter post (Reuters)
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Excerpt from Reuters: The tabloid Daily Star set up a live feed of an unrefrigerated iceberg next to a photo of Truss. "Which wet lettuce will last longer?," it asked in a Twitter post showing the feed that had garnered over 50,000 likes in its first five hours online. The stunt echoed a comment at the other end of Britain's journalistic spectrum. In a column published this week titled "The Iceberg Lady", the Economist magazine described Truss as having "the shelf-life of a lettuce". Truss on Friday fired her finance minister, Kwasi Kwarteng, after just 38 days in office. The duo have been under mounting pressure to reverse a disastrously received economic package that forced the Bank of England to intervene in the bond market and prompted Conservative Party colleagues to openly discuss whether they should be replaced.
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