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UK Truss remains on ‘disruption’ plan despite Tory misgivings

UK Prime Minister Liz Truss on Wednesday vowed to emerge from the turmoil sparked by her tax cuts, saying the “disruption” would pay off in a more prosperous and efficient Britain.

Truss ended a stormy Conservative conference in the central English city of Birmingham with a speech designed to lift the spirits of delegates. He told them: “I am ready to make hard choices” and branded his many critics, including opposition parties, unions, environmental protesters and parts of the media, an “anti-growth coalition”.

Many Tories are in a somber mood after four days of gathering that saw government policy U-turns, dire opinion polls and a public revolt by lawmakers who fear the party is doomed to lose the next national election under Truss, who has just taken office. a month ago after winning the party leadership vote.

UK Prime Minister Liz Truss laughs during her hotly anticipated speech at the Conservative Party conference. (AP)

Truss vowed to stick to his plan to reshape Britain’s economy through tax cuts and deregulation to end years of sluggish economic growth. He said that cutting taxes is morally and economically the right thing to do.

“In these difficult times we must step up. I am determined to get Britain moving, to weather the storm and put us on a stronger footing as a country,” he said, pledging to “stand up for our Ukrainian.” friends, how long will it take.”

Looking for a popular tone, Truss took the stage to the style of the 1990s hit Moving on Up. M People, founder of the band behind the song, said he was “furious”. Mike Pickering said he hoped Truss looked at the lyrics – “Move right out of here, baby, pack your bags.”

The call was briefly interrupted by two Greenpeace activists who unfurled a poster reading “Who voted for this?” — and was sent out of the hall to boos from the audience. Truss shrugged.

“When there’s change, there’s disruption,” he said. “Not everyone is in favor. But everyone wins from the result – a growing economy and a better future. This is a clear plan for us to implement.”

Sterling, which has been on a rollercoaster ride since Truss unveiled his economic proposals last month, fell about 1 percent to $1.136 ($1.76) after the speech.

The currency had hit a record low of $1.03 ($1.60) shortly after Truss announced a stimulus package including 45 billion pounds ($78.8 billion) in tax cuts on Sept. 23, to be paid for by government borrowing. forced to intervene to prop up the bond market and stem the wider economic crisis.

Liz Truss took to the stage to the 1990s hit Moving on Up. M People, founder of the band behind the song, said he was “furious”. (AP)

The government on Monday scrapped the most unpopular part of its budget package under political and financial pressure: tax cuts for earners above £150,000 ($262,000) a year. This will save around £2bn, a small part of the government’s £45bn tax cut plan. Most economists say massive cuts in public spending will be needed to pay for the rest.

The government said it would publish a fully spent budget plan on November 23, along with an independent economic forecast.

Truss defended the chaotic roll-out of his economic measures, saying that in times of emergency “it would be wrong not to go ahead quickly with our energy and tax plan”.

Truss claims his policies will lead to economic growth, higher wages and ultimately more tax revenue for the government. Critics say the plans will not help millions of people who are currently struggling with a cost-of-living crisis fueled by rising energy prices.

Truss insists it is committed to supporting the most vulnerable, pointing to the energy price cap that came into force on 1 October. But he has refused to allow benefits and state pensions to rise with inflation, which has been the norm for years.

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, Chancellor of the Exchequer Kwasi Kwarteng and Health Secretary Therese Coffey wait as British Prime Minister Liz Truss makes her first speech at the Conservative Party conference. (AP)

That has alarmed some conservative lawmakers, who say it means punishing the poor while reducing revenue for the better. Several at the conference said they would not vote for the measure.

Gordon Brown, the former Labor prime minister, said the benefits cuts would spark a “national uprising”.

Truss said the “status quo is not an option” and he would “stay the course”.

But unifying his party will be a difficult task. As delegates met for panel discussions and wine receptions in a cavernous conference hall this week, the government descended into factional fighting. Home Secretary Suella Braverman, a Truss ally, accused Conservative lawmakers who disagreed with the leader of orchestrating the coup.

Amid the Tory turmoil, the opposition Labor Party has taken an overwhelming lead in opinion polls. A national election is not due until 2024, but many Conservatives fear the party is running out of time to close the gap.

Polling expert John Curtice said the Conservatives had “all the ingredients for an election loss”.

Delegates queue to enter the main hall before Liz Truss’ speech at the Conservative Party Annual Conference at the International Conference Center in Birmingham. (AP)

Some delegates left the conference early due to a sour mood and to avoid a nationwide train strike on Wednesday. Many of those who stayed to listen and applaud Truss said they were impressed.

“I really felt his conviction,” said Mo Pantall, a businesswoman from Cambridge, eastern England, although she noted there were those in the room who “didn’t clap.”

“They weren’t with Liz,” Pantall said. “But 90, 95 percent of us are. We know that unity is what makes us successful right now.”