After a week in which the prime minister has been largely invisible from Britain’s airwaves, Liz Truss is today undertaking some 24 different radio and TV interviews to defend her government’s recent mini budget.
Truss has been speaking live to speak to 8 BBC Local radio stations between 8am and 9am, followed by 16 separate interviews with local BBC TV stations to be broadcast on their evening news stations this evening.
Speaking first this morning on BBC Radio Leeds, her first media appearance for four days, Liz Truss defended her mini budget saying, “We had to take decisive action to get the economy growing, to get Britain moving and also to deal with inflation. And of course that means taking controversial and difficult decisions but I am prepared to do that as prime minister, because what is important to me is that we get our economy moving, people are able to get through this winter, and we are prepared to do what ti takes to make that happen”
Accepting that her growth plan would take time, Truss said, “A lot of these policies don’t have an overnight but the important thing is that we putting the UK economy on a growth trajectory”
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Truss was asked if she was still confident about her mini budget, immediately following up on BBC Radio Norfolk. In response, it was notable that Truss did not directly say “yes”. She was instead keen to stress the government’s action on energy.
Asked by BBC Norfolk’s, Chris Goreham whether a strong leader sticks to Plan A regardless, Truss said, “This is the right plan that we have set out. This is about making sure that people are not facing ultra high fuel bills this winter”.
Financial markets are now uneasy about the effect of the tax cuts announced in the mini budget on borrowing, so the pound has dropped 8% against USD.
This has led to Mark Carney, former Bank of England Governor, a warning.
Mr Carney was critical of the government’s failure to publish details about the mini budget. Speaking to the BBC Radio 4 ‘Today’ programme, Carney said, “Unfortunately having a partial Budget, in these circumstances – tough global economy, tough financial market position, working at cross-purposes with the Bank – has led to quite dramatic moves in financial markets.”
With the prospect of rising interest rates coming to the fore, criticism of the government’s plans continues from political opponents. Ed Davey, leader of the Liberal Democrats, is a critic.
In the last few days the first few Conservative MPs have started to go public with their concerns around the Chancellor’s latest plans. These include Mel Stride (Roger Gale) and Mark Garnier.
Where she has been “I think that we have got to remember the situation we were facing this winter, where people were having to pay energy bills of £6,000, where inflation was increasing, and where we were facing na economic slowdown that would have had a huge impact right across the country. So we had to take decisive action”.