Rishi Sunak refuses to apologize six times for Truss’ economic turmoil | Political news
Rishi Sunak has refused to apologize for the economic turmoil Liz Truss’ short-lived government has caused Britons.
The Prime Minister, who is in Bali for the G20 summit, refused six times today to apologize for the decisions taken by his predecessor, which caused serious and persistent financial turbulence.
He acknowledged that “mistakes were made” by Mrs Truss and its Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng, whose unfunded £45billion tax cuts sent mortgage rates skyrocketing and created a run on the pound and a free fall in the gilt market.
However, whenever Sky News political editor Beth Rigby asked him to apologise, he repeated that mistakes had been made and said: “What I want to do now is fix them. “
He admitted there were ‘tough decisions’ to be made to get the economy back on track, but he is ‘ready to do the tough stuff’.
Mr Sunak added: “I spent the summer talking about the challenges facing our country, talking about what I thought was necessary to overcome them and fix them to build a foundation on which we could provide jobs, growth and prosperity to people over time.
“So I think people know where I stand on all these issues. And now that I’m prime minister, I’m going to make sure we get there.”
Although Mr Sunak spoke out against Ms Truss’ plans for the economy during the summer leadership campaign, he said he would not vote against her mini-budget.
He said that since taking the reins there is now “much more stability in the financial situation in the UK in terms of what the UK is paying to borrow money and what arrived at the pound”.
The mini-budget cost the UK £30billion
Analysis published by independent think tank the Resolution Foundation on Monday found Ms Truss’ mini-budget cost the UK £30billion, doubling the amount the Treasury says the Treasury will need to raise by Jeremy Hunt, Chancellor.
Mr Hunt will seek to tackle this £60million ‘black hole’ in the fall statement Thursday.
The Chancellor told Sky News over the weekend that there will be tax rises for everyone, although the wealthiest will have to contribute more, and he will announce a rise in the National Living Wage.
Mr Sunak said the government had a plan “to limit the increase in mortgage rates which will bring down inflation”.
“I think people can be reassured that we’ll put a plan in place that will do that, and that’s what you’ll see on Thursday,” he added.
“I think the Chancellor has been very clear about the challenges we face. It is true that we are upfront and honest with the country about the scale of the challenge we face.
“But what we’ve also said is that the way we’re going to do this will put fairness and compassion at the heart of those decisions.”
Mr Sunak is on his second major international visit as prime minister, following the COP27 climate change talks in Egypt last week.
He said he was “hopeful” to have a meeting with Xi Jinping, the Chinese president, and said his country posed a “systemic challenge” to UK values and interests.
On Tuesday morning, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy spoke by videoconference with the leaders of the 20 largest economies, including Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who is present on behalf of Vladimir Putin.
Mr Zelenskyy, who previously called the summit the G19 because he missed Russia, told the group now was the time to end the war in Ukraine.
There are doubts whether a joint statement on the war in Ukraine will be produced at the end of the summit as it will have to be approved by Russia.