Kwarteng: ‘We have a plan and will deliver it’
Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng has performed a second u-turn on his mini-budget after agreeing to bring forward his medium term fiscal plan from 23 November to the end of this month.
Markets have put pressure on Mr Kwarteng to explain how he intends to fund his package of tax giveaways and he has conceded a need to publish details earlier.
His decision follows a speech to the Conservative Party conference in which he set out a vision of an economy driven by low and simpler taxes, fewer regulations and higher wages.
Striding slowly on to the stage to address the party conference in Birmingham, he opened with a declaration about the extraordinary events of the previous 24 hours when he dropped his plan to scrap the 45p income tax rate.
However, he stuck to the rest of his tax-cutting plan, despite warnings by tax experts and economists that it will imply substantial cuts in public spending.
“What a day. It has been tough, but we need to focus on the job in hand,” he said.
“We need to move forward. No more distractions.
“We have a plan and we need to get on and deliver it. That is what the public expects.”
Repeating his target of 2.5% annual growth, he offered a “new economic deal” for Britain “backed by an iron-clad commitment to fiscal discipline, more businesses, more jobs, higher pay, and more money for public services”.
Mr Kwarteng said Britain could not have good schools, a strong NHS and fund the Armed Forces without a strong economy.
He said the Conservative party believes that “people should keep more of the money they earn”.
Reflecting on his two years as Business Secretary, he said he had learned about the way governments too often got in the way of progress.
He said the government will “review, replace and repeal EU laws holding our country back, adding that there are “too many barriers for enterprises looking to scale up”.
Building on an announcement on Sunday to cut red tape for SMEs, he said there are “too many rules for small business owners looking to take on apprentices,” and there are “too many burdens for the finance sector” looking to invest.