• Tue. Dec 6th, 2022

Parliament to return after mini-budget turmoil, with Kwarteng set to face MPs

BySwanzi010

Oct 11, 2022

MPs will return to Westminster on Tuesday after a chaotic conference season, with the chancellor set to face questions for the first time since the fallout from his mini-budget.

Parliament has been in recess for over two weeks to allow the parties to hold their annual political gatherings, but will kick off at 2.30pm with Treasury Questions, meaning a likely early appearance from Kwasi Kwarteng at the dispatch box.

His economic policies will remain the focus of the Commons throughout the day as MPs debate his proposed reversal of the National Insurance rise – brought in earlier this year by former Chancellor Rishi Sunak to pay for health and social care.

And potential future policies are likely to be raised too, as the Conservative Party continues to argue over whether he and Prime Minister Liz Truss should raise benefits in line with inflation.

Politics live: Kwarteng confirms U-turn on date for next economic forecast

Mr Kwarteng’s economic announcements last month – which came on the final day of Commons business before the conference recess – sent the markets into turmoil.

The subsequent days saw the pound drop, mortgage products being withdrawn and the Bank of England having to step in to save some pension funds.

Poll numbers for the Tories plummeted, with Labour recording approval ratings over 30 points ahead.

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’31m’ people to get income tax cut

Since the fall-out, which dominated the Tories’ own gathering in Birmingham, the chancellor and the prime minister have U-turned on their plan to scrap the top 45p tax rate for the wealthiest 1% and given into demands to bring forward their medium-term financial plan on how to pay for their £43bn of policy pledges.

Mr Kwarteng confirmed on Monday that event would now take place on Halloween, rather than on 23 November, and will be accompanied by an Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) forecast – something he was criticised heavily for excluding when he announced his mini-budget.

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Moment Chancellor U-turned on tax rate

Labour has promised to “step up pressure” on the chancellor to scrap all the announcements from his “fantasy mini-budget” and is urging Tory MPs to work with them and speak out publicly to force the changes.

Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves said: “This is a Tory crisis that has been made in Downing Street, and that is being paid for by working people.

“Families worried sick about bills haven’t even had so much as an apology from the prime minister or chancellor, the architects of chaos unleashed on the British economy and family finances.”

She added: “Labour have forced this Tory government to U-turn throughout the cost of living crisis and we will do all we can in our power to do so again to get them to reverse this disastrous, kamikaze budget.”

G7 meet over Ukraine

Meanwhile, the PM will take part in a virtual meeting with leaders of the G7 – the world’s seven richest nations – to speak out against continued Russian brutality in Ukraine and call for a full meeting of NATO leaders in the coming days.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will also join the call following 24 hours of ramped up attacks to his country, including in the capital Kyiv, which has seen civilians killed and electricity cut off.

British Prime Minister Liz Truss speaks at Britain's Conservative Party's annual conference in Birmingham, Britain, October 5, 2022. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
Image:
Prime Minister Liz Truss giving her speech at the Conservative Party’s annual conference last week

Ms Truss will urge the group not to waver in its support and is expected to say: “The overwhelming international support for Ukraine’s struggle stands in stark opposition to the isolation of Russia on the international stage.

“Their bravery in the face of the most brutal acts of violence has earned the people of Ukraine global admiration.

“Nobody wants peace more than Ukraine. And for our part, we must not waver one iota in our resolve to help them win it.”

Source : Sky.com

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