Liz Truss’s ‘growth commission’ to publish alternative Budget

Report will come just over a year after former prime minister’s real Budget caused financial chaos

Jon Stone
Policy Correspondent
Saturday 14 October 2023 23:58 BST
What can we learn from the Labour and Conservative party conferences?

A “growth commission” set up by Liz Truss is to publish an alternative Budget suggesting “exciting” economic policies.

The commission, which the former prime minister established in July this year, says it wants to challenge “conventional thinking” on the economy.

It will publish the plans on 14 November, a week ahead of Jeremy Hunt’s autumn statement.

The economists running the commission are expected to suggest tax cuts and deregulation – favoured policies of free-market conservatives like Ms Truss.

The report will be launched just over a year after Ms Truss resigned as prime minister following the fallout from a disastrous autumn mini-Budget that caused panic in the financial sector.

She became Britain's shortest-serving prime minister after the fiscal statement, packed with tax cuts and red meat for the Tory base, caused an adverse market reaction.

But since leaving office, Ms Truss has again repeatedly called on the chancellor to make tax cuts, amid speculation she wants to again lead the Tory party.

Mr Hunt has suggested that he will not be cutting tax rates next month but might do so next year, before the general election.

“One of the exciting things about the Growth Commission budget is that we are looking at both tax and fiscal policy as well as domestic regulatory policy,” said Shanker Singham, co-chair of the Growth Commission.

Fellow co-chair Doug McWilliams said the report would be a “detailed challenge to the conventional thinking” which he argued had “proved unable to rise to the challenge of fixing the UK’s low growth problem thus far”.

“The Growth Commission is looking at the full economic effects of a range of policies from taxes to regulation,” he added. “Our analysis will be the first to quantify in detail all the costs of a variety of policies and present clear alternatives for policymakers to consider.”

Ms Truss has repeatedly blamed “economic orthodoxy” for causing her to resign and said the public was not familiar enough with her arguments.

The ex-PM this week visited US senator Ted Cruz in Texas, where she said: “It’s vital that Conservatives win the battle of ideas both in the US and UK. The time is now.”

Launching the commission in July, Ms Truss said she could not predict what it could recommend but hinted that it would be tax cuts and deregulation.

“Of course, no one can predict the future. But what we do know is if we have too much regulation, if we have very high taxes, then that leads to people being less likely to go out to work, businesses being less likely to be established,” she told GB News at the time.

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