In a speech to the Institute for Government think tank on Monday, Ms Truss declined to express regret over the consequences of her fiscal policies. She told the audience that this would have made only a “marginal difference” to the deficit.
“Of course I wish things had turned out differently,” she said.
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She said the mini-budget had led to growth but admitted she and Mr Kwarteng had gone too far too soon.
“Some people said we were in too much of a hurry. And it’s certainly true that I didn’t just try to fatten the pig on market day; I tried to raise the pig and also slaughter it. I confess that.
“But we were in a rush because voters wanted to see results, having already voted for change twice – in 2016 and 2019.”
“Given the huge resistance and lack of preparation time, I knew things wouldn’t go perfectly. However, given the difficult situation in the UK, it is important to take action and not remain idle.
“I went into politics to get things done, not to do public relations.”
She said some of her colleagues in the Tories were members of the “anti-growth coalition”.
“The anti-growth coalition is now a powerful force, consisting of the economic and political elite, corporatists, parts of the media and even part of the conservative parliamentary party. “The policies I advocate are simply not fashionable on the London dinner party scene.”
Ms Truss said her successor could help grow the economy by cutting corporate tax, slowing the rise in spending on benefits and pensions, raising the retirement age, allowing fracking, abolishing the energy windfall tax, other regulatory departures from the EU and the EU is delaying the implementation of some net zero measures, such as postponing the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars planned for 2030.
She defended her budget, saying: “The tax cuts we put in place were not big tax cuts, in fact they would have made only a marginal difference in the size of the deficit.”
“They were about showing Britain a new direction.”
Ms Truss also said her government felt pressured by the Bank of England to commit to a “counterproductive” U-turn on its tax plans. She also admitted that it was only after the economic crisis began that she had heard about the liability-directed investment (LDI) pension funds, which were affected by her mini-budget.
“There was obviously not enough information about the LDIs.
“The fact that we were completely surprised by LDIs… I literally hadn’t heard what an LDI was until the following Monday, and that was a pretty big part of what was happening in the market.”
But she also accused the media of failing to effectively criticize the Bank of England. “It’s really about institutions and politicians ultimately having full responsibility, but not necessarily the power.”
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Ms Truss twice dodged questions about whether she would withdraw her resignation bid when Labor called on the Prime Minister to block her list.
Former Tory minister Conor Burns demanded a period of silence from his former boss. “She is a drag anchor for everything she is committed to,” he tweeted. “And poisonous on the doorstep. The only service she could render is continued silence.”
She is a drag anchor for every cause she is committed to. And poisonous on the doorstep. The only service she could provide is continued silence.
– Conor Burns (@ConorBurnsUK) September 18, 2023
Lib-Dem Treasury spokeswoman Sarah Olney criticized Ms Truss for failing to apologize to the public.
She said: “Liz Truss’ refusal to apologize to the families whose finances have been ruined by her botched budget shows how out of touch she is. To rub salt in the wound, Truss and her Conservative ministerial colleagues pocketed thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money in handouts after causing an economic car crash and fleeing the scene.
“The British public will never forget this chaotic Conservative government which ruined the economy and drove up mortgage rates. It is time to finally change the rules around ministerial pay so that Liz Truss and other former Conservative ministers cannot benefit from their own failures again.”