Jeremy Hunt does not accept Truss mini budget caused long-term damage |  News about politics

Jeremy Hunt does not accept Truss mini budget caused long-term damage | News about politics

Jeremy Hunt has said he regrets the turbulence caused by Liz Truss’s mini-budget, but he does not believe it caused long-term economic damage.

The independent Resolution Foundation estimated the mistakes made by the former prime minister cost the UK £30 billion while Paul Johnson, the director of the Institute of Fiscal Studies, called it one of a number of economic “self-targets” that have led to Britain’s bleak outlook.

But Mr Hunt told Sky News Beth Rigby interview show: “I don’t recognize these Resolution Foundation figures.”

He added: “I don’t think there was any long-term impact because the measures they put in were reversed so quickly.

“I think what the world wanted to see was that Britain wasn’t going to spend money it didn’t have and was committed to repaying its debt. And Rishi Sunak and I have given them that reassurance.”

However, he said he accepts “we’ve had a difficult period over the last couple of months”.

“I wish we hadn’t had what happened with the mini-budget and all the turbulence that happened there,” he said.

When Truss announced a series of unfunded tax cuts in September, it contributed to the financial chaos that sent markets into freefall, the value of the pound plummeted, mortgage rates rose and forced the Bank of England to intervene to stop pension funds from collapsing.

This ultimately led to her downfall when Mr Hunt was drafted in to reverse almost all the economic policies that won her the Tory leadership election triggered by Boris Johnson’s resignation.

Hunt refused to apologize for the turmoil, saying “actions speak louder than words”.

“I think we’ve demonstrated that we believe what happened was wrong. We’ve corrected it and we’ve put the country back on track,” he said.

The chancellor presented his long-awaited autumn statement to parliament last Thursdaystrewn with stealth taxes and curbs on public spending amounting to £55 billion in an attempt to plug the black hole in the public finances.

The measures will leave around 55% of households worse off, according to the Treasury’s own analysis, while the independent Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) warned the disposable income of UK households will fall by 7.1% over the next two years – the biggest fall on record.

Mr. Hunt has accepted “challenging times” lie ahead but insisted his tax increases were not “just misery for misery’s sake”.

“It was to ensure that we really have the bright future that everyone wants,” he said.

He repeated his insistence that the problems facing the UK economy are global, as he dismissed forecasts of the trade blow caused by Brexit.

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The OBR has predicted that Brexit will lead to a 4% reduction in GDP in the longer term, amounting to around £100bn in lost trade and around £40bn in tax revenue.

But Mr Hunt said he did not accept those figures.

“I do not accept that Brexit is the cause of the great economic difficulties we are facing,” he said.

“Brexit is a choice Britain made as a country. And whether we want to make a success of it or not is a choice we now have to make.

“The biggest reason for the decline in our economic picture is high international energy prices.”

Mr Hunt was speaking in Birmingham after meeting apprentices who were working on the HS2 programme.

Some Conservative MPs have spoken out against the expensive project, with senior backbencher Esther McVey saying she will not support his tax increases unless the project is scrapped.

However, Hunt said the project was an integral part of the Conservative Party’s plan for equalization.

“We’re not going to compromise on the really big projects that make a difference to our economy. And HS2 is one of them.”

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