Jeremy Hunt: We went too far, too fast
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has sought to reassure financial markets, saying the government “went too far, too fast” in the mini-Budget.
Hunt became the fourth chancellor in as many months on Friday when Prime Minister Liz Truss sacked Kwasi Kwarteng and U-turned on her plan to cut corporation tax.
The pound plunged to its lowest level against the dollar since the mid-1980s, before recovering slightly, following Kwarteng’s “fiscal event” last month.
Hunt said his focus was on “growth underpinned by stability”.
He said: “The drive on growing the economy is right - it means more people can get good jobs, new businesses can thrive, and we can secure world-class public services. But we went too far, too fast.
“We have to be honest with people and we are going to have to take some very difficult decisions both on spending and on tax to get debt falling but the top of our minds when making these decisions will be how to protect and help struggling families, businesses and people.
“I will set out clear and robust plans to make sure government spending is as efficient as possible, ensure taxpayer money is well spent and that we have rigorous control over our public finances.”
Hunt will set out the UK Government’s medium-term fiscal plan on 31 October.
Meanwhile, the SNP has renewed its calls for Truss to resign, accusing her of misleading parliament over cuts to public spending.
The party’s deputy Westminster leader, Kirsten Oswald, said: “Liz Truss's crumbling premiership will be remembered for its countless shambolic U-turns and trashing the economy, however, the prime minister has serious questions to answer now over potentially misleading parliament after her latest remarks on slashing public spending.
“Despite making a firm commitment in parliament ruling out any cuts to public spending, the prime minister has desperately rowed back on that by admitting that it will be reduced – she must clarify this urgently.”
She added: “Liz Truss has lost all credibility and despite her desperate efforts to shift the blame the fact is that she is responsible for the economic chaos that is putting people's incomes, homes and pensions at risk.”