Liz Truss has said she is prepared to be unpopular with her tax policy as she believes it will ultimately benefit the UK economy.
Speaking to Sky News political editor Beth Rigby in New York, the Prime Minister defended any tax changes her government will make at the end of the week and said she would do what she had to do to revive the ‘economy.
She also dismissed concerns over government plans to borrow more instead of taxing the profits of energy companies (a windfall tax) and said she did not accept that the tax cut was unfair.
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When asked if she was prepared to be unpopular with her policies, Ms Truss replied: “Yes, yes I am.
“What’s important to me is that we grow the UK economy because that’s what will ultimately lead to higher wages, more investment in towns and cities across the country, that’s what is what will ultimately bring more money into people’s pockets, and it will also help fund services like the National Health Service.
“And to get that economic growth, Britain has to be competitive.”
She said raising taxes, imposing “arbitrary taxes” on energy companies, or imposing a high corporate tax will lead to a lack of investment and growth that she says will “harm finally to the opportunities in this country”.
Ms Truss defended reports that Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng will scrap caps on bankers’ bonuses during a mini-budget announcement on Friday as she blamed the UK’s ‘relatively weak growth’ on a lack of capital investment.
“We haven’t had enough capital investment and yet we have one of the best financial services centers in the world,” she said.
“So what I want to see is that the money from the City of London is put to good use across our country – and yes, I’m prepared to do whatever it takes to get that money flowing. “
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As she led the way in announcing bankers’ bonuses and tax cuts, the prime minister admitted her tax cuts would disproportionately benefit the wealthy.
“I don’t buy this argument that cutting taxes is somehow unfair,” she said.
“I mean, what we know is that people with higher incomes generally pay more taxes.
“So when you cut taxes, there’s often a disproportionate benefit because those people are paying more taxes in the first place.
“We should base our tax policy on what’s going to make our country the most successful, what’s going to generate that economy that benefits everyone in this country.”
Although the Prime Minister remained optimistic about her fiscal policy, she admitted it would be a “difficult winter”.
But she added: “I am determined that my government will take all measures and do everything possible to revive the economy, to ensure that we have a prosperous economy and that as a country we can face this storm.
“We will get out of this.”
Earlier today, the Prime Minister promised that the UK would not introduce energy rationing this winter as some countries, such as Germany, have done.
She said the UK – and the West – ‘cannot jeopardize our security in the name of cheap energy’ as she pushed for other countries to pledge to continue to backing Ukraine after announcing the UK would match the more than £2.3bn in military aid it has provided this year.