Liz Truss Insists She Won't Cut Public Spending To Pay For "Mini-Budget"
Liz Truss has said she is “absolutely” keeping her promise, made during the leadership campaign, not to cut public spending while in office.
Appearing at her first PMQs since the "mini-Budget" was presented to the Commons last month, the Prime Minister was asked by Labour leader Keir Starmer whether she would be able to keep the pledge while also implementing tax cuts.
Liz Truss had previously said she wanted to focus on “public service reforms” rather than “public spending reductions” during her campaign to become party leader.
"I'm certainly not talking about public spending cuts, what I'm talking about is raising growth,” she said in July.
Responding to Labour's call for her to reiterate her pledge on Wednesday in light of economic chaos triggered by Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng's "mini-Budget", Truss insisted she was “absolutely” committed to maintaining current public spending levels.
Economic think tank the Institute for Fiscal Studies has estimated that the government will need to make £60bn worth of spending cuts in order to pay for the as yet unfunded tax cuts and borrowing that has been proposed.
"We are spending almost £1tn of public spending. We were spending £700bn back in 2010," Truss told MPs.
"What we will make sure is that over the medium term the debt is falling, but we will do that not by cutting public spending, but by making sure we spend public money well."
Truss also used her latest PMQs performance to defend measures brought forward in her recent "mini-Budget", which Labour claims has triggered much of the subsequent market turmoil.
Starmer said: "There is no point trying to hide it. Everyone can see what has happened. The Tories went on a borrowing spree, sending mortgage rates through the roof, they are skyrocketing by £500 a month.
"And for nearly two million homeowners their fixed rate deals are coming to an end next year. They are worried sick and everybody in this House knows it. They won't forgive. They won't forget and nor should they.
"When will she stop ducking responsibility, do the right thing and reverse her kamikaze budget which is causing so much pain?"
But Truss accused Labour of not backing her plan to reduce energy bills, which she claims will ensure families will not pay more than £2,500 a year.
“I am genuinely unclear as to what the Labour Party's policy is on our energy price guarantee,” she responded.
“It was the biggest part of our mini-Budget. Are the opposition saying they want to reverse it and they want to see people facing energy bills of £6,000?"
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