Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini-budget was a reckless gamble | Letters

Giving handouts to the rich is a fiscal and moral outrage, writes Prof Alan Walker; plus letters from Howard Fielding, Ivor Morgan, Richard Heller, Helen Briggs, John Platt, Jeffrey Borinsky and the parent of a City worker

Kwasi Kwarteng and Liz Truss’s mini-budget is a fiscal and moral outrage, because it ignores the extensive negative evidence from previous attempts to boost growth by giving handouts to the rich (Kwarteng accused of reckless mini-budget for the rich as pound plummets, 23 September ). It is also a constitutional outrage. Apart from a very small group of relatively rich people, no one voted for this radical policy change. Hopefully the British public will recognise this as a reckless gamble aimed at bolstering Truss’s election prospects. Recent history shows, however, that the public cannot necessarily be relied upon to make wise political decisions, so our outrage must be transformed into practical action to persuade voters that there is a viable, socially just alternative to this morally bankrupt government.
Prof Alan Walker
University of Sheffield

• Let’s not get too envious of the very wealthy who were so cosseted in Friday’s fiscal event. The reaction of the stock market was a 2% loss on the day (Pound falls below $1.09 for first time since 1985 following mini-budget, 23 September ). Most of the rich will have some of their millions invested in stocks and shares. So they lost £20,000 of each million. I wonder how grateful they are for the chancellor’s reckless gamble?
Howard Fielding
London

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The Observer view on Liz Truss’s disastrous ‘fiscal event’ | Observer editorial

This was a brazen gamble that can only damage Britain’s future

The first major fiscal intervention by a new prime minister has surely never been greeted with such widespread disdain. Less than three weeks into Liz Truss’s premiership, her new chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng, announced the biggest programme of tax cuts in half a century, one that will benefit the very wealthiest while adding tens of billions to the national debt. The market reaction was instantaneous: the pound dropped to its lowest level against the dollar since 1985 . The “growth plan” was rubbished by thinktanks such as the Institute for Fiscal Studies. Backbench Conservatives lambasted the plan as “economically dubious ”. And Larry Summers, the former US Treasury secretary, accused the UK of behaving like an “emerging market turning into a submerging market ”.

Those are just verdicts on the substance of Friday’s remarkable announcements. The UK economy is suffering as a result of the global energy price shock and a decade of poor productivity growth, made worse by erecting huge barriers to trade with the EU. These circumstances are making everyone poorer, with particularly deleterious consequences for low-income households with children, people with disabilities and poor pensioners. What is desperately needed is urgent support targeted at the hardest-hit households, plus the investment in skills, infrastructure and business finance to rebalance the economy away from growth based on consumer spending, fuelled by rising house prices, and towards business investment and exports.

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