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Martin Lewis brands the mini-budget ‘staggering’

Lewis said ‘I really hope it works. I really worry what happens if it doesn’t’

By @BarneyDavisES
23 September 2022
M

oney saving expert Martin Lewis has described Kwasi Kwarteng’s first ever mini-budget as “staggering” amid fears it is not enough to revive the economy and prevent a recession.

The Chancellor unveiled a radical ‘mini-budget’ that delivers billions of pound worth of tax cuts - including a surprise move to scrap the 45 per cent top rate of income tax paid by the UK’s wealthiest.

Mr Kwarteng announced sweeping moves intended to rev up the economy in the eagerly-awaited “fiscal event” on Friday morning as he slashed tens of billions off the tax bill.

The Government is dubbing it a “growth plan” at a time when the UK faces a cost-of-living crisis, recession, soaring inflation and climbing interest rates.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Kwasi Kwarteng leaves 11 Downing Street to make his way to the Treasury Department

/ PA

Mr Lewis, founder of Money Saving Expert, tweeted: “ That really was quite a staggering statement from a Conservative party government. Huge new borrowing at the same time as cutting taxes.

“It’s all aimed at growing the economy. I really hope it works. I really worry what happens if it doesn’t.”

Paul Johnson, from the respected Institute for Fiscal Studies think tank, called the Chancellor’s announcement the “biggest tax-cutting event since 1972”.

Mr Johnson called it a “quite extraordinary” statement.

“It was like having an entirely new Government.

“This was the biggest tax-cutting event since 1972, it is not very mini. It is half a century since we have seen tax cuts announced on this scale.”

In 1972, the then Government’ ‘dash for growth’ then “ended in disaster,” said Mr Johnson.

“That Budget is now known as the worst of modern times. Genuinely, I hope this one works very much better.”

Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves accused the Government of replacing levelling up with “trickle down”.

Ms Reeves told the Commons: “What this plan adds up to is to keep corporation tax where it is today, and take national insurance contributions back to where they were in March. Some new plan.”

Responding to Labour, Mr Kwarteng said “you cannot help workers by increasing their taxes”.

Mr Kwarteng said it was the “biggest fantasy I have ever heard” to suggest Labour believes in wealth creation.

“You cannot grow the economy if you see business as the enemy,” he said.

He added: “We’ve got to unshackle the creative energies of this country and that’s what we’re 100% focused on doing.”

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