Truss: Miguel Berger shares ‘concern’
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Germany’s Ambassador to the UK, Miguel Berger, said that Berlin was “looking forward” to another humiliating U-turn for Prime Minister Liz Truss and her Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng. Mr Kwarteng cut short a visit to the US yesterday to fly back to the UK and face urgent talks with Ms Truss over the Government’s tax cut plans. There has been speculation the Government could reverse its plan for corporation tax, news of which has sparked a rally in the pound.
Speaking to Kate McCann on TalkTV, Mr Berger said Germany was “concerned” by Ms Truss’s plan to slash taxes.
Ms McCann asked whether Berlin thought Ms Truss and Mr Kwarteng “are doing a good job” of maintaining calm in the markets
He responded: “What is seen with some concern in Germany is that what we are all doing is trying to get inflation under control through the central bank.
“But what is challenging is at the same time there are measures like tax breaks that may fuel inflation. That is seen with some worry from Berlin.”
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He added: “We all want growth. We want to get out of the recession as soon as possible. But we must do it in a responsible way.”
When asked about the U-turns, Mr Berger responded: “We are looking forward to all the decisions which might be taken in the coming days.”
Germany’s dig at the UK was described as a “rare” intervention by Politico, which added countries “typically don’t comment” on an ally’s economic programme.
It is understood that Ms Truss is considering reversing up to £24 billion in planned tax cuts.
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This would include the £18 billion plan to cancel a scheduled increase in corporation tax in 2023
Ms Truss had previously pledged to scrap a planned rise to the tax, which was set to increase from 19 percent to 25 percent in 2023.
The U-turn would be just the latest after the Government was forced to scrap plans to cut the top rate of income tax, which made up just £2bn of the package.
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The expected reversal comes after days of open revolt among Tory backbenchers and even some senior figures in the party.
The mini-budget spooked the markets in September and prompted a drop in the value of the pound.
Mr Kwarteng had promised billions of pounds of tax cuts but did not explain how he would fund them.
The turmoil in Downing Street has reportedly led senior Tories to discuss the possibility of replacing Ms Truss with her leadership contest rivals Rishi Sunak and Penny Mordaunt, according to The Times.
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