UK: New Chancellor Reverses Tax Cuts, Scales Back Energy Bills Support

Photo: HM Treasury [via The Guardian]

The Facts

  • On Monday, UK chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced a U-turn on almost all of the tax cuts set out in September's mini-budget by ex-chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng. Planned cuts of 1p to income tax and 1.25% to dividend tax have been reversed, while plans to freeze alcohol duties and introduce VAT-free shopping for tourists have also been scrapped.

  • The ex-health minister also confirmed that the energy price guarantee - a measure to protect Brits against rising gas and electricity costs - will only remain universal until April. The support was originally intended to last for two years. However, targeted government intervention for the most vulnerable will likely be introduced once the package ends.

The Spin

Left narrative

Despite Liz Truss retaining the title of PM, Hunt is now the de facto leader of the country. The coup against Truss - whose blindly ideological policies and poor leadership have blasted the Tories to electoral oblivion - is almost complete. Conservative infighting, and a blatant disregard for the plight of Brits at a time of heightened instability and rising costs, has made Sir Kier Starmer a PM in waiting.

Right narrative

Although her policies weren't popular, Liz Truss didn't deserve to be hung out to dry by the Conservative party establishment. The government lost the confidence of the Bank of England, the IMF, and of the United States. But these are all institutions that helped create the catastrophic economic conditions inherited by Truss in the first place. The Tories must unite behind their democratically elected leader and support her in making the difficult, perhaps unorthodox, decisions the country needs.

Nerd narrative

There is a 50% chance that Liz Truss will no longer hold the office of Prime Minister of the UK by Jan. 7, 2023, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

Political split



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