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Rational behind Kwasi Kwateng’s budget

199 replies

UserOneSquillion · 28/09/2022 15:43

Genuine question, what is the rationale? On paper he is a extremely intelligent man with a background in economics. Was he following Truss’s orders? Is he trying to keep big business in the UK? If so wouldn’t it be better to lower business tax rather than income tax? Absolutely no one seems happy with this.

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red4321 · 30/09/2022 16:09

The single purpose of the Johnson and Truss' government have been to make a a few Tory donors and their close mates richer. There is nothing else to it.

By-product, yes but I honestly don't believe that was the sole objective.

I'm not sure Starmer is all that comfortable with some of the historic trade union links either if we're talking about potential conflicts of interest. He squirmed when the question was asked about supporting the strikes during Laura Kuenssberg's interview on Sunday.

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Elodie09 · 30/09/2022 16:57

I am astounded that some posters are saying things along the lines of this shit show (sorry for my bad language) being Jeremy Corbyn’s fault.
Un f•••••g believable.
I’ve seen a lot of Tory PR (cheers PR Dave, not) but I am literally raging and I shouldn’t be, I’m getting on a bit and have seen a lot , this is not good for your blood pressure but this, THIS!

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Hagpie · 30/09/2022 17:04

Perhaps if people like you wouldn’t be happy for the disabled to starve to death so you could be cruel to trans women we could get somewhere!

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Hagpie · 30/09/2022 17:05

Sorry that was in response to a specific poster saying something about labour being a worse option because of trans people.

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the80sweregreat · 30/09/2022 17:06

If the Labour Party had voted through the first brexit deal along with Theresa May , then maybe things may have been different, but who knows ? The conservatives didn't want her deal anyway and they would have found a way round it I suppose and still seen her off. We will never know if anything would have been better. JC wasn't really ready to negotiate with her.
For all his many faults and failings and dodgy past , JC had some good polices ( just my own opinion ) but people couldn't vote for him. Fair enough.
It happens in politics. He did well in 2017.
It is what it is though. Maybe the LP should have told him to go after this defeat. Hindsight is a wonderful thing isn't it?
Plus Brexit will always be the main driver of everything that has happened since 2016. It really has muddied the political waters.

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FridayTheThirteeth · 30/09/2022 17:13

She made him do it.

He was stone.

He's not as clever as you think he is.

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Elodie09 · 30/09/2022 17:17

I am not a supporter of Corbyn , (hugely like what I’ve seen of and heard about Sir Keir though) but I am outraged that the Truss/Kwarteng cohort are going to increase this kind of narrative, “wasn’t us , we didn’t do it, not our fault, it was him over there, “ deflect, deny and continue to dismantle our Democracy.
Does anyone know why there is no way of calling an early GE ?

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the80sweregreat · 30/09/2022 17:19

I think that the Ms Truss crew are ready to blame everything and Everything apart from themselves.
As long as people see through it..

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Ilikewinter · 30/09/2022 17:26

the80sweregreat · 30/09/2022 17:19

I think that the Ms Truss crew are ready to blame everything and Everything apart from themselves.
As long as people see through it..

Totally, I saw some of the footage of the radio shows she did yesterday and in response to every question was 'Putins war' ..... ffs she cant just blame her shit show on Putin.

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EnglishRose1320 · 30/09/2022 17:55

I think the rationale was "Fuck the poor", actually fuck everyone apart from the super rich.

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AKKview · 30/09/2022 19:22

Cornettoninja · 30/09/2022 11:37

How far do you want to go back @AKKview ? I would put Cameron at the epicentre of where we are today but regardless, we are where we are. Harking back to a candidate that hasn’t been relevant for a couple of years and whose party rejected isn’t constructive, certainly not at a point where massive issues are reality.

The point I was trying to make is that nothing starts with or because of one or two individuals. In the face of massive long term technological, demographic and cultural changes and now also climate change, which in turn drive phenomena like globalism, populism and religious radicalism, the idea of blaming any single individual now or in the past for the state of the country today just doesn’t make sense.

While emotionally we all have our favourite political voodoo doll (my own is Johnson FWIW - I realised that KK had truly jumped the shark when I saw him the the front row at BJ’s launch campaign for PM), it makes as little sense to blame Truss as it does to blame Corbyn or Blair. They are but products of the times that went before them: the inheritance of combined long term consequences of the decisions and indecisions of previous leaders facing too-big challenges.

On Cameron, specifically… it’s tempting and easy for Remainers like me to blame him for Brexit - all his fault. But as someone once aptly put it - Brexit was more like a slow train that took years to arrive, and just happened to turn up when Cameron was on duty at the station. .

Here are some things to consider.

  • The last time the UK had had any kind of referendum on Europe was in 1975. Since then, Ireland and Denmark had held 14 different referenda on different aspects of EU membership, and Spain, Italy, France, Sweden and the Netherlands had all held various referenda too (several of which were lost).
  • In 2002 it was Blair’s government which decided to allow early unrestricted immigration from central and Eastern Europe - a decision applauded at the time but whose long term consequences brought Ukippers from the margins to the mainstream.
  • In 2004, the same Labour government committed to the UK holding a long overdue referendum on Europe in 2006. All polls in the run up indicated unanimously that the referendum would be lost. Very fortunately for Blair, he was let off the hook because the French and Dutch got there first.
  • It feels like a lifetime ago and is easy to forget, but in 2014, UKIP actually won the European election. Decisively.
  • Around that time, opinion polls indicated that more than half of UK adults wanted some kind of referendum on Europe - not just within the Tory Party, but everyone. And this was long before anyone had come up with fake news about £350 million for the NHS on the side of buses.
  • In 2015, a Brexit referendum was a central promise in the Tory election manifesto. So those of us who didn’t want Brexit actually had not one but two opportunities to vote against it. Arguably three, if you count voting for anything but UKIP in that 2014 European election.
  • Corbyn, then Labour leader and known EU-sceptic, basically went missing during the 2016 referendum campaign. And 18-24 year olds - supposedly big fans of Corbyn, and supposedly with the most to lose from Brexit - failed to vote in the referendum in epic numbers. We now know that if they’d turned out in the same proportion as 35-44 year olds, the UK would still be in the EU today.


It’s a great example of how history is bigger than individual politicians. Clearly Brexit wasn’t Corbyn’s or Blair’s fault - or even Major’s or Thatcher’s for not saying, hey, let’s have a referendum on Maastricht in the early nineties. But you add all those past decisions and indecisions together, on top of the big long term social and cultural groundswells around identity, nationalism, anti-globalisation, populism & the rise of social media, and you start to see why it’s equally absurd to say “I blame Cameron”.
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Elodie09 · 30/09/2022 19:33

@AKKview So it is never any Politician’s fault ? So if I am reading you correctly it is the general voting population of the U.K. at fault here for everything ?
Not the rich men in suits then ?

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IrisVersicolor · 30/09/2022 21:06

@AKKview Broadly, that boils down to the old A level historiography Marxist/Annales vs great man theory as a way of denying the fact sometimes leaders make mistakes. I don’t actually disagree that broadly history sweeps along in socio/cultural/economic waves throwing up figureheads/punchbags along the way, but at the same time individuals do impact the life of a country. Blair made a huge personal mistake with Iraq that his foreign secretary resigned over and the country now repudiates.

It’s tempting to read Brexit as inevitable because it happened, and to exaggerate the extent of anti-EU feeling in the country. But if you look at data mapping the concerns of the U.K. public, EU membership flatlined as a concern right until the run up to the referendum. Immigration was always an issue but it was very much immigrants in general rather than EU in particular.

No-one is going to lose money mapping anti-European sentiment on a xenophobic island: it can be traced as far back as the 16th break from Rome and the fear of Catholic absolutism if required, but what does that prove? Until Cameron made his fatal error it remained an emotional beef rather than a truly political one.

It may be true that if Cameron hadn’t tripped then his successor might have done, but it’s equally plausible that if he hadn’t the issue would have remained a skirmish within the Tory party and a UKIP bandwagon that successively failed to get anyone very much other than Bob Spink elected to Parliament. The UKIP victory at the European elections can be misread: it’s one thing to vote for UKIP to run amok in the EU Parliament but quite another to vote for them to run the country.

I don’t place the blame for Brexit on Cameron, the blame lies much much wider than that - but he’s the one who slipped on the banana skin that another leader might have adroitly avoided.

I note that Le Pen is now for keeping the Euro and staying in the EU but reforming it from within. (With a raft of proposals that sound destructive and dramatic but would be nigh impossible to effect). That may be because we have made the major disadvantages of Leave clear, or it may be that Leave is already old news. Had we had a leader with the sense and strength to weather the storm, that ship may already have sailed.

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Elodie09 · 30/09/2022 21:37

Kwarteng and Truss are responsible for what happened last Friday . That is all.

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Murdoch1949 · 30/09/2022 23:26

Let poorer people have more of their own money they spend it, better food, replacing worn out clothes, treating themselves to a takeaway. Let richer people have more of their own money they save it - they've got everything they want/need anyway.

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scaredoff · 01/10/2022 00:35

@AKKview

The second was the sheer size of his budget, which was 2x Johnsons. Now I know the argument is that Johnson has actually spent about as much as Corbyn proposed, but the difference is that Johnson did it in response to an emergency (covid) and when every other country was doing it, whereas Corbyn proposed high spending levels before Covid and before the cost of living crisis and independently of everywhere else.

Just imagine where we would be if we had had Corbyns high budget spending, followed by Covid spending and then the cost of living crisis. It would have been absolutely disasterous (where as at the moment it is merely really really bad)

The general election was in December 2019, the same month as the first case of covid in China. The first lockdown was in March 2020, three months later. Are you seriously suggesting that Labour's spending plans in their 2019 manifesto would have just carried on as planned, paying no heed whatsoever to the pandemic? That's ridiculous. For a start it would have been practically and logistically impossible for them to do half of the things they were proposing with everyone in lockdown.

Of course all bets would have been off for Labour's plans, just as they were for the Tories'. How would all that have panned out? Who on Earth knows. Pretty sure the UK media wouldn't have given Corbyn 1/10 of the slack they allowed Johnson for his criminally negligent handling of it though, no matter what he did.

But when people make these kinds of statements about Labour spending vs the "party of fiscal responsibility" (LOL), they always overlook one crucial factor, which is what the money is being spent FOR, and who benefits from it. The Tory narrative of Gordon Brown causing the 2008 financial crash practically single-handedly is bollocks on many levels, but lets just say for the sake of argument it's true: that Labour "failed to fix the roof while the sun was shining", overspent throughout their term in office and then we all had to pay for it.

What did we get for that? A massively improved NHS after years of Tory underfunding. Cuts to class sizes. Sure Start. Working Tax Credits improving conditions and prospects for people on low incomes, single mothers etc. A statutory minimum wage. etc. etc.

Similarly, suppose a Corbyn government was elected and did run up a troublesome deficit. That would have to be dealt with, sure. But what would the country HAVE for that cost? An economy radically refocused around green energy. A proper response to climate change. Better employment law for low earners giving respite from zero hours contracts etc. A national investment bank. The sanest possible deal that could have been negotiated with the EU. Regeneration of the NHS. Nationalised energy provision to help deal with the cost of fuel crisis.

By contrast, what will ordinary people get from this plan of Truss and Kwarteng to pile more debt onto already historic levels? Soaring inflation. Soaring interest rates. Mortgages they can't afford. Homelessness. Brutal cuts to public services to pay for it. Still sky high energy costs that are only mitigated by the government signing up our children to pay back the energy companies, rather than doing it properly via a windfall tax. Oh, and significant tax cuts for the rich, and some theory about how that will benefit everyone else at some unspecified time in the future, proposed by two idiots who clearly don't have a clue.

These clowns are giving us all the fiscal irresponsibility they accuse Labour of, with none of the benefits that Labour government spending is spent FOR. And that's somehow supposed to be better.

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paintitallover · 01/10/2022 15:01

How could we possibly know the rationale. They haven't condescended to tell us.

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Felixfeather223 · 01/10/2022 15:52

scaredoff · 01/10/2022 00:35

@AKKview

The second was the sheer size of his budget, which was 2x Johnsons. Now I know the argument is that Johnson has actually spent about as much as Corbyn proposed, but the difference is that Johnson did it in response to an emergency (covid) and when every other country was doing it, whereas Corbyn proposed high spending levels before Covid and before the cost of living crisis and independently of everywhere else.

Just imagine where we would be if we had had Corbyns high budget spending, followed by Covid spending and then the cost of living crisis. It would have been absolutely disasterous (where as at the moment it is merely really really bad)

The general election was in December 2019, the same month as the first case of covid in China. The first lockdown was in March 2020, three months later. Are you seriously suggesting that Labour's spending plans in their 2019 manifesto would have just carried on as planned, paying no heed whatsoever to the pandemic? That's ridiculous. For a start it would have been practically and logistically impossible for them to do half of the things they were proposing with everyone in lockdown.

Of course all bets would have been off for Labour's plans, just as they were for the Tories'. How would all that have panned out? Who on Earth knows. Pretty sure the UK media wouldn't have given Corbyn 1/10 of the slack they allowed Johnson for his criminally negligent handling of it though, no matter what he did.

But when people make these kinds of statements about Labour spending vs the "party of fiscal responsibility" (LOL), they always overlook one crucial factor, which is what the money is being spent FOR, and who benefits from it. The Tory narrative of Gordon Brown causing the 2008 financial crash practically single-handedly is bollocks on many levels, but lets just say for the sake of argument it's true: that Labour "failed to fix the roof while the sun was shining", overspent throughout their term in office and then we all had to pay for it.

What did we get for that? A massively improved NHS after years of Tory underfunding. Cuts to class sizes. Sure Start. Working Tax Credits improving conditions and prospects for people on low incomes, single mothers etc. A statutory minimum wage. etc. etc.

Similarly, suppose a Corbyn government was elected and did run up a troublesome deficit. That would have to be dealt with, sure. But what would the country HAVE for that cost? An economy radically refocused around green energy. A proper response to climate change. Better employment law for low earners giving respite from zero hours contracts etc. A national investment bank. The sanest possible deal that could have been negotiated with the EU. Regeneration of the NHS. Nationalised energy provision to help deal with the cost of fuel crisis.

By contrast, what will ordinary people get from this plan of Truss and Kwarteng to pile more debt onto already historic levels? Soaring inflation. Soaring interest rates. Mortgages they can't afford. Homelessness. Brutal cuts to public services to pay for it. Still sky high energy costs that are only mitigated by the government signing up our children to pay back the energy companies, rather than doing it properly via a windfall tax. Oh, and significant tax cuts for the rich, and some theory about how that will benefit everyone else at some unspecified time in the future, proposed by two idiots who clearly don't have a clue.

These clowns are giving us all the fiscal irresponsibility they accuse Labour of, with none of the benefits that Labour government spending is spent FOR. And that's somehow supposed to be better.

@scaredoff 100% agree with your take. Excellently and clearly expressed as well. I would also add that the intense scrutiny on Corbyn that Johnson never had to endure probably would have been a really good thing especially during the pandemic. You certainly wouldn’t have seen the insane levels of transferring of money out of the economy into the pockets of labour’s buddies who created companies for just that purpose, they would have been torn limb from limb by the press and rightly so. The insanity around flip flopping on testing, contact tracing and the resistance to moving fast on early interventions would not have been as big an issue, and we might have avoided being the country with one of the worst sets of pandemic stats among developed countries. Including economic stats.

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IrisVersicolor · 01/10/2022 20:16

To change the subject, whoever actually read Minford and thought anything but the man’s a lunatic? Other than Liz Truss.

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the80sweregreat · 01/10/2022 21:10

I've heard Minford being interviewed before but I don't read many political books ( only read two !)
He is old school and Ms Truss seems in thrall to him.

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SnackSizeRaisin · 01/10/2022 21:15

GasPanic · 30/09/2022 14:52

It's an interesting discussion.

I was quite taken with Corbyn, who actually had some quite radical ideas. With him being something of an idealist there was some possibility that these ideas would be enacted. However, he proposed a couple of things that were absolutely batshit.

The first was significant tax raises on the self employed, which immediately alienated a massive chunk of the population (6-7 million IIRC).

The second was the sheer size of his budget, which was 2x Johnsons. Now I know the argument is that Johnson has actually spent about as much as Corbyn proposed, but the difference is that Johnson did it in response to an emergency (covid) and when every other country was doing it, whereas Corbyn proposed high spending levels before Covid and before the cost of living crisis and independently of everywhere else.

Just imagine where we would be if we had had Corbyns high budget spending, followed by Covid spending and then the cost of living crisis. It would have been absolutely disasterous (where as at the moment it is merely really really bad) !

I'm a Keynesian at heart which means I believe the government should spend during times of economic hardship. Unfortunately most people forget the flip side of this, which is that the government should reduce spending when things are looking OK. Corbyn was proposing a massive spend, right at the time when things were looking OK. I think if he had got in vs. Johnson we would have been less worse off, because he wouldn't have been able to ramp up spending in time before Covid hit. But if he had got in against May then we really would be seriously up shit creek now with an absolutely enormous debt:GDP.

Things were looking ok compared to now perhaps. But don't forget we'd had years of austerity already by that point.

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SnackSizeRaisin · 01/10/2022 21:22

Felixfeather223 · 01/10/2022 15:52

@scaredoff 100% agree with your take. Excellently and clearly expressed as well. I would also add that the intense scrutiny on Corbyn that Johnson never had to endure probably would have been a really good thing especially during the pandemic. You certainly wouldn’t have seen the insane levels of transferring of money out of the economy into the pockets of labour’s buddies who created companies for just that purpose, they would have been torn limb from limb by the press and rightly so. The insanity around flip flopping on testing, contact tracing and the resistance to moving fast on early interventions would not have been as big an issue, and we might have avoided being the country with one of the worst sets of pandemic stats among developed countries. Including economic stats.

Agree with all of this. Whatever the pros and cons of the different parties, life for most ordinary people was much better under labour. Unfortunately performance seems to be measured by whether rich people get richer and not by the things like access to healthcare . People terrified of Jeremy Corbyn is because they are scared of some restrictions on getting filthy rich (inexplicably as most people aren't at risk from those type of restrictions anyway!) .clearly not because they're frightened of someone who is in politics to improve things for the majority. And I live in a labour stronghold so clearly people here didn't think he was unelectable.

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SnackSizeRaisin · 01/10/2022 21:28

BambinaJAS · 30/09/2022 11:42

GasPanic is deflecting.

Its a common strategy of people that want to deflect blame from the shitshow they elected

Don't fall for it. This is 100% on them.

Yes...so were the nazi atrocities the fault of the person who stood against Hitler in the election? After all if that person had been more electable, Hitler wouldn't have been voted in. Or is it just the economic incompetence of the government that's the fault of the person who didn't get voted in? Why one and not the other?

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Blossomtoes · 01/10/2022 22:05

And here we have Godwin’s Law in action.

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