Budget botch – Tory harakiri with collateral damage ++ savage criticism

“Britain is staring down the barrel of a self-inflicted economic catastrophe.”

“We are now watching the real-time implosion of the governing party.”

  As commentators and economists across the globe look on  aghast and EU leaders permit themselves a sour smile of schadenfreude, UK voters stand frozen as yet another thunderbolt descends after Brexit, Ukraine, the Queen’s departure and this one wilfully wreaked.

  What were they thinking? A FU gesture from free-marketeer  Tories listening only to those they already agree with and arrogantly ignoring the requirement for the budget to be appraised by Office for Budget Responsibility.

 First things first. The Conservative Party 10 May 1912 chart has worked well through Brexit and is now right on the money with the Solar Arc Uranus now conjunct the Taurus Sun for a mighty disruption covering several months with a further battering from this November Lunar Eclipse in Taurus. Plus a discouraging tr Saturn square the Sun exactly now, returning late this November and followed in 2023 by tr Uranus conjunct the Tory Sun. A Westminster insider who described the budget farrago as ‘existential’ wasn’t wrong. See previous post September 24th.  

  I’ve been puzzling over Liz Truss’s Term chart which in one way seemed solid enough with a business-like Earth Grand Trine though  too much emphasis on Earth can lead to a blinkered outlook and a lack of perspective.  There is also a focal point Saturn in Aquarius square Uranus North Node which is immensely unyielding, compulsively driven to hang onto a chosen path of action, unwilling to bend. Plus Saturn square Uranus is autocratic. And the Pluto sits on the Sun/Mars midpoint which is fanatical, unscrupulous, ruthless and destructive.

  Robert Shrimsley in today’s FT traced the rot back to what he describes as “Brexit absolutism”. “Kwarteng’s statement last week was just one manifestation of the elevation of ideology over economics. The desperate pursuit of unorthodox growth strategies was driven in part by the 4 per cent hit to productivity over 15 years that has been consistently ascribed to the Brexit deal.”

“Lost market access, continued confrontations with the EU, overhyped trade deals that add little to GDP, the sustained assault on British institutions and prime minister Liz Truss’s onslaught on economic orthodoxy. Investors have got the message. Britain is not the bet it once was.”

“The past week has made voters –  more than receptive to the argument that the Tories have mismanaged the economy. The botching of Brexit should be central to that critique. (Many will say it could only be botched, but some versions are clearly worse than others.)” 

  The Brexit referendum of 24 June 2016 was held under the cloud-cuckoo-land Jupiter opposition Neptune, made worse by squaring onto Saturn in self-righteous Sagittarius and Mercury in Gemini forming a Mutable Grand Cross. Plus a disruptive Pluto square Uranus and a resentful, uncompromising Uranus inconjunct Mars in Scorpio. A Mutable Grand Square tends to be scattered, inconsistent, indecisive and suggestible.

  The final Brexit deal pushed through by Boris Johnson exiting the UK from the single market on 31 December 2020 at 11 pm London time has an acutely frustrating Mars in the financial 8th square a 4th house Pluto so was never going to be easy financially or in domestic satisfaction – to understate it by a mile. Plus there was a T Square of Jupiter Saturn in Aquarius in the 5th house, which rules speculation and the financial markets, opposition Moon and square an 8th house Uranus – so pointing towards financial turbulence and instability. Uranus on the point of a Fixed T Square hints at a determined law-unto-himself approach which eventually after being battered by reality tends to break down.

 There’s nothing much to add from the UK chart that is not in the previous post – though that 2nd house UK Neptune in Scorpio catching the last and final exact tr Uranus square tr Saturn in early this October is certainly living up to its economically unstable label.  Tr Uranus is already on the highly-strung, nervy opposition to the Neptune and returns in early 2023. Tr Saturn stays on the high-uncertainty aspect into mid this November. Plus the Lunar Eclipse in November will also rattle it up, in effect before and for some months after.

Shell-shocked and exhausting, as well as heart-rending for those already overstretched and under-funded.

ADD ON: 3 October 2022. Martin Wolf, highly regarded as an economic journalist, has made a savage attack on Truss/Kwarteng in the FT.

The only sort of leader more dangerous than the rogue the UK used to have is the zealot it has now. The dominant characteristic of zealots is their conviction that reality must adapt to their desires, rather than the other way around.”

 He then reeled off government lies of the past decade –  that fiscal austerity after the 2008 crash and Brexit would bring prosperity; that the Northern Ireland protocol had solved the Brexit conundrum; that levelling up was a serious policy. Of the promised jump in productivity growth it is estimated that  output might be 0.4 per cent higher in five years. “The mountain labours and brings forth a mouse.

The party has been captured by zealots indifferent to reality or simple decency.”

These people are mad, bad and dangerous. They have to go.”

74 thoughts on “Budget botch – Tory harakiri with collateral damage ++ savage criticism

  1. So there’s been a tax u-turn today, 3rd October, which has benefited the pound, and borrowing costs apparently. A little bit of astrology I noticed is:

    Mercury turns direct at 24 Virgo, 2nd October. It opposes Neptune, 23 Pisces, square shouty Mars in Gemini, 20.
    Kwasi Kwarteng has Mercury at 23 Gemini.

  2. Someone just sent me via WhatsApp, Jonathan Pie’s 3 and a half minute ‘Welcome to Britain’ video on Tik Tok summing up Liz Truss, et al. He says, ” 12 years of Tory rule has taken us from 5th richest nation on the planet to being downgraded to an emerging economy…..”

  3. Reading that we will probably see public services and benefits cuts. Commentators saying Truss/Kwarteng have it in for the poor.

    I’m wondering if this is their Saturn in Cancer. Fear of softness. Fear of neediness. Fear of being reliant on others.

    • Truss has no democratic mandate for any huge shift in policies.

      She did not win the poll among Tory MPs outright and it is not clear she can command a majority in Parliament which is normally the criteria for being PM.

      If I was the monarch I would be dropping a very big hint that she ought to go to the country in a General Election sooner rather than later.

      • Was that intended as a reply to my point about whether Truss/Kwartengs’ Saturn in Cancer might fear the poor and needy?

        The underlying astrology/psychology is still there whether they can enact their policies or not.

        • It was really just highlighting that any potential benefit changes have no mandate from the electorate poor or needy or not. I am not sure Truss or Kwarteng fear the poor. That is usually to be found among people who have recently climbed the social and economic ladder and worry about slipping back. Saturn at 23 Cancer is conjunct fixed star Pollux which has been described as “Brutal and tyrannical, violent and cruel”. Kwarteng Saturn is at 16 Cancer. Saturn in Cancer is reckoned to be a difficult placement.

          Fear of losing it all materially is a particularly Taurean trait so I suppose that ties in with the current transit of Uranus through that sign. Truss has her Mars and South Node in Taurus so she will definitely have that influence Kwarteng was born with Mercury stationing in Taurus just about to go retrograde.

          My guess is ones who are really worrying about losing it all are the general public be they home owners, pensioners, public sector workers or on benefits. The other category of possible victims are Tory MPs who are now realising that they have swapped the possibility of an election defeat under Johnson for the certainty of a certain drubbing at the polls under Truss.

          • In answer to an interview question this morning about whether anyone had voted for the ‘mini budget’, after revealing that nobody at all in the cabinet had been consulted about the reduction in the top tax rate, Liz Truss cited the 2019 general election win……as if that is her mandate…..

          • Thanks for your replies Hugh, I always appreciate your insight.

            Replying to Xhane – technically that is her mandate. We don’t vote for a leader, like other nations do with their President, we vote for our local MP and by extension that decides to which party gains power. Of course, it would be naive to suggest that the leader has no influence on who the electorate want.

          • Technically people vote for a local MP to represent their constituency in Parliament but most campaign on the basis of a party manifesto. Under the constitution the monarch then selects as Prime Minister the MP or Party leader who can command a majority in the House of Commons. He or she the forms a government.

            Truss problem is that her mini budget contained policies not in the 2019 Conservative Party manifesto. Moreover, it is by no means clear from the Tory party leadership that she enjoys the support of the majority of MPs in her own party let alone a majority in the House of Commons.

        • Possibly Saturn in Cancer also describes family dynamics to an extent? Liz Truss’ academic, left-wing father is reportedly very upset by her Conservative career/values. Her mother less so. She also has three younger brothers. Her Saturn/Mercury squares onto Jupiter and Uranus so her Cancerian self-protective instincts could manifest in erratic ways? Beneath all this is Chiron in Aries (28), which may rock the already rocky boat from time to time. A Pluto transit to that could stir up all manner of things that lie beneath.

          Meanwhile, as of this morning anyway, she seems keen to protect herself from the fall-out from the mini bomb she’s detonated. Speaking about the 45p rate tax cut:

          “She added that the cut was a decision made by Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng – prompting former cabinet minister and Boris Johnson loyalist Nadine Dorries to accuse her of throwing him “under a bus”. BBC website, 2 October, 2022

          • “She added that the cut was a decision made by Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng – prompting former cabinet minister and Boris Johnson loyalist Nadine Dorries to accuse her of throwing him “under a bus”. BBC website, 2 October, 2022

            Wow @Jane, that’s exactly what @Anita F, 24 Sept post predicted, ‘Truss will get the blame and will throw him under the bus. …….’

  4. Apparently, the UK is at ‘full employment’.

    Historically, chancellors stoked fiscal booms at times of high unemployment in order to soak up an over supply of capacity/labour etc.
    The mystery is just why would a government want to ‘go for growth’ – the “justification”of this madness – at a time when, by definition, there is no slack in the economy?

    • Which is the greatest act of political stupidity of the first quarter of the 21st century?

      A. Brexit.
      B. Electing Donald Trump.
      C. Attacking the Ukraine.

      It’s a three-way tie ! This is logical because they are all part of mad Vlad’s master plan.

      Runner-ups are attacking Iraq, leaving Afghanistan and voting for the Conservatives who will take away your house, your business and your pension in the UK.

      A special mention goes to those who believe Ayn Rand was sane.

      • I like your analysis, Andre. Putin’s fingerprints are on all three.

        Total madness for western nations to accept Russian disruption to our elections and governmental processes!

  5. The right wing Brexiteer goons (ERG, IEA, Daily Mail, Farage et al) continue to pull the strings of whichever Tory wingnut happens to be in charge, since pre-2016. Its an ongoing project. They will de-regulate everything to the detriment of the majority, privatise NHS and whatever else is left for their friends, frack, ignore science, gaslight and lie through their teeth, asset strip the country to the Nth degree along US lines, ie if you cant afford it, tough…. Who voted for that?

  6. Liz Truss backed Remain! So not sure why Brexit is being shoe-horned into this.

    She’s trying to turn the clock back to the Cameron-Osborne period of neo-liberal economics and unlimited immigration.

    Like Theresa May (another Remainer), she doesn’t really grasp what Brexit was about. Brexit was parochial, it was about closing the door to the world in order to have time and resources to repair the homefront, protect the shire.

    I was so sure Sunak would win. Here’s what I wrote on 23rd July:

    “Uranus is important for Sunak’s chart. He’s a Brexiteer and on referendum day, transiting Uranus was exactly conjunct his Moon. When he became Chancellor in Feb 2020, transiting Uranus was trine his Jupiter & Mars.

    “When his wife’s non-dom stuff was hitting the headlines in April, transiting Uranus was conjunct his Chiron.

    “When the leadership result comes out tr Uranus will be conj his Mercury and trine his Saturn, and next year will be conj his sun and opposite his uranus.”

    He may yet become prime minister

    • Brexit is being shoehorned into this because it is glaringly obvious it is the root cause of the destruction of the British economy. The fact that Truss personally opposed it has to rank up there as one of the great non sequiturs of our time. In ten or fifteen years, the UK will have to swallow its pride and ask the much wealthier EU to return. By then, there will be no exemptions for the pound and no monarchy allowed because the EU will have moved on to full federation. The only head of state for the UK will be the president of the EU. Also, it is a well-established fact Brexit is a product of Russian destabilization of the West just like Trump.

    • Well Boris wasn’t a remainder and he couldn’t make Brexit a success . I think Theresa May did understand the difficulties with the Irish border, and this was her downfall. If Brexit hasn’t delivered perhaps it is because the expectations were always unrealistic.

      • Brexit. I wish people would just get over it. It’s happened. Both sides were appalling. And until we accept it we can’t move on.
        Remainers were too sure of themselves to make a case or even organise a proper referendum.
        Brexit was never defined so those voting for it voted for whatever they thought it meant or wanted.
        But clearly they wanted change of some sort or another, a fact remainers conveniently overlook.
        Since then remainers, which includes
        most of the establishment and civil service haven’t accepted the vote so do nothing to make it work.
        While brexiters are still arguing amongst themselves about what they thought it meant.
        Hence a total FU.

        • As an ardent Remainer I would still reluctantly accept it has happened if it was producing any benefit. But it ain’t .
          The ones who aren’t ‘making it work’ are the Tories in power.

          • Hear, hear, Marjorie! Even if we remainers ‘get over it’, it’s not going to go away! Talk about elephants in the room. The EU will never be a federation, too many conflicting interests but it is quite a successful experiment in network cooperation. Ukraine situation has strengthened that.

          • How can you be certain? Things inconceivable two years ago are happening every day. Isn’t that what your newspaper is all about?

          • @Marjorie, I agree. Moreover, I’d add there are important aspects of Brexit that simply can’t be made to work as well as they did before it became final. Not that people working with these issues on daily bases didn’t see them coming – that’s why people in the UK have been spared of fatal shortages of food, medicine etc. But the cost is there, and obviously disproportionally for people with lower income and without significant fortune.

          • I agree. Of course I can ‘accept it has happened’, but on some levels I still don’t understand it at all! Many people did want change, it’s true, and their frustration at being ignored was, er, ignored…..I also think there’s much confusion in people’s minds between the ideals of the EU as a vital post WW2 alliance, and its other functions – trade, sharing research and ideas, and so on. We are simply so much better together, and I hope some other kind of alliance with Europe may be possible in the future. Without it, we are much diminished, and the much-vaunted promise of ‘control’ will sink beneath the waves in the Channel.

            It’s worth considering the history of the powerful Hanseatic League, a forerunner of the EU in many respects. Sadly, no founding date, although it existed from around 1157 – 17th century. It wielded significant influence in numerous countries, from Germany to Russia, Poland to Portugal, England, and Italy.

            “The league served to advance and defend the common interests of its heterogeneous members: commercial ambitions such as enhancement of trade, and political ambitions such as ensuring maximum independence from the noble territorial rulers.[42]: 10–11 The Hanseatic League was by no means a monolithic organization or a ‘state within a state’ but rather a complex and loose-jointed confederation of protagonists pursuing their own interests, which coincided in a shared program of economic domination in the Baltic region.”

          • And that is the only correct answer Marjorie. The Tories did it all.
            Boris and his red wall voters, he played them like a violin.
            Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn, so lovely for the majority of the world’s poorest.

          • My thoughts exactly.
            I would have been happy with the compromise of staying in the customs union and the single market but no compromise was possible with the ERG pulling all the strings.
            Hard Brexit has been a disaster for the economy and our standing in the world.

      • Boris was undecided about Brexit for a long time and even wrote two different articles for publication in the Press, depending on which path he would follow. He only chose Brexit because he saw it as an easier path to power. Had he backed Remain he probably still would have eventually come to power, but would have had a more difficult route. His innate self-entitlement and laziness determined his choices. I think deep down he may be a turncoat Remainer who eventually got his come uppence. Many people foresaw the possibility of difficulties with the Irish border, but none appreciated the true scale of the damage it would cause. This is why it is such a mess now.

    • It is interesting that Truss became PM when many planets were retrograde. Her mini-budget came out in Mercury retrograde. Let’s see how much all of this sticks.

  7. It strikes me that Truss is trying to emulate Thatcher whose fiscally libertarian policies were howled down in the early 80’s (with mixed success). She must think that if her tax cuts stimulate the UK economy against all advice then she will be hailed as an economic svengali. Given the current state of the UK economy and the world bond and share markets this seems highly unlikely.

  8. Uranus transit the Conservative party (1910) sun next year will be interesting. This last time this occurred was in late 1939 at a time of a major failure of Conservative policy- appeasement.
    Things may become slightly clearer after mercury goes direct on Monday but we have another 5 months of Mars in Gemini.

  9. I follow Canadian columnist living in London Gwynne Dyer and in his latest column, “Brittania unhinged” he writes, “The Queen’s death and funeral took up the first 12 days of Liz Truss’s tenure, so the new prime minister’s work of destruction could not get properly underway until late last week.” It made me LOL! With sympathies to the people of the UK, of course.

  10. Matthew Lesh of the Institute of Economic Affairs basically acknowledged the truth of George Monbiot’s piece about extreme neoliberal think tanks running the country. Wonder if there’s anything to be gleaned about this IEA, sounds so establishment, but is perhaps not?

    • Victoria the IEA will not disclose who funds them, along with other such “think tanks” while pursuing right wing agendas on behalf of, who? Read and listen to James O’Brien on the topic…sinister and deeply shady I believe….

  11. Having listened to some clips from ‘interviews’ given by Liz Truss today, I am feeling very anxious. It was like listening to a robot.
    I’ve posted some thoughts about extreme libertarian author Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged, The Fountainhead)
    on Marjorie’s other post on the so-called mini budget. But since I just discovered that Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng are fans, I’m repeating myself here. Ayn Rand, 2 February, 1905, has a Uranus in Capricorn oppositon Neptune in Cancer. Those connect with Kwarteng’s impulsive Aries Mars opposition Pluto in Libra. They also aspect the UK Uranus and ascendant in Libra. Rand’s Pluto at 19 Gemini is conjunct KK’s Mercury in Gemini, and opposes the UK Mercury in Sagittarius. Rand’s chart is having a Saturn return at 22 Aquarius.

    Here are three quotes to give a flavour of her work and philosophy:

    ‘If any civilization is to survive, it is the morality of altruism that men have to reject.’

    ‘Government ‘help’ to business is just as disastrous as government persecution…the only way a government can be of service to national prosperity is by keeping its hands off’

    ‘The question isn’t who is going to let me, it is who is going to stop me’

    • Thanks Jane, I saw your post on the other thread and thank you for those astrological parallels and synastries. Yes, Ayn Rand is extraordinarily popular with politicians, I remember Sajid Javid for eg said that as a rule he read ‘The Fountainhead’ twice a year. Though Barack Obama once said of her books;

      “Ayn Rand is one of those things that a lot of us, when we were 17 or 18 and feeling misunderstood, we’d pick up. Then, as we get older, we realize that a world in which we’re only thinking about ourselves and not thinking about anybody else, in which we’re considering the entire project of developing ourselves as more important than our relationships to other people and making sure that everybody else has opportunity – that that’s a pretty narrow vision.”

      She’s one of the talented Uranus in Capricorn/Neptune in Cancer generation, the generation I associate with the Surrealist movement in art, the drive to overturn accepted mores and conventions so that the subconscious can take the lead and can have free reign. (I think the Uranus/Neptune in Capricorn generation have this issue too to an extent). However, her rampant individualism and pitiless libertarianism is not a world in which most of us would want to inhabit.

      • Thanks for the Obama quote VF, really sums it all up for me. The incredible arrogance of this unnecessary chaos (when there’s chaos enough already) is staggering.
        I read today that Rishi Sunak, Boris Johnson, and various others will not be attending the Tory Party Conference this weekend. Interesting to see the tr Saturn/Uranus square 1 degree from the Tory Party’s Taurus Sun. And tr Chiron is conjunct the UK Nodes in Aries. I think that could represent some kind of catalyst. Mercury turns direct opposite the Tory Aries Mercury too, possibly this will encourage thoughts to surface from those attending?! As Marjorie writes:

        “Shell-shocked and exhausting, as well as heart-rending for those already overstretched and under-funded.”

        • Retro Mercury turning direct in Virgo will be inconjunct/quincunx the Aries Mercury. You don’t get many interpretations for that transit aspect but it’s been described as an unexpected actor arriving on stage and taking things in a whole new direction

          • Sorry, GD, yes I meant quincunx. Dyslexia sometimes/often wins when my mind is racing along! An unexpected actor you say…..that’s interesting. Do you think in human form, or could it be a document? Certainly a whole new direction is needed, although we must be careful what we wish for. Some ‘unexpected actors’ might not be an improvement…..Polls tonight re Labour vs Tory support are astonishing. I know polls aren’t entirely reliable things (Mercury retrograde?) but these are still very dramatic.

    • Ayn Rand *Gnarly Dude shrugged* (and eye-rolled)

      If I recall, her chart is full of Capricorn-Aqua planets – so hyper independent. Including a Capricorn moon. Her parents emigrated from Russia after the 1917 Revolution when the Communists seized her father’s business. Seems to me like someone who could never move on from the emotional scars and the expectation of contributing that comes with socialism.

      The irony is that in her old, she turned to the U.S. Welfare State to support her. If that doesn’t tell you how unworkable her ideas are, I don’t know what will.

  12. I mentioned after The Queen’s death it seemed to relate to the Mars-Uranus-NN conjunction at 17 Taurus that went by quietly in early August.

    Now this.

    And then when you look at Con 1912 chart with Sun-Saturn-MC close to, it’s no surprise

  13. Brexit is Putin’s proudest achievement. He neutralized the UK and his strategy bears fruit just when he needs it most. Meloni and Truss are his best. As the pound sinks, Russia takes heart. Moscow’s grand plan is working.

  14. The late Queen Elizabeth II died a mere two or three days after confirming Liz Truss as Prime Minister- in football management terms this is known as the “kiss of death”.

    I’m sure the ancients would have taken grim omens from such an extreme act of synchronicity.

  15. Also baffling is policy decision to boost immigration into the UK, and allow ‘free movement’ with India, (a nation of 1.5 billion people, grinding poverty, mass unemployment and massive graduate overproduction).
    It’s as if Truss/Kwarteng have deliberately authored policies aimed at alienating their own core electorate.

    • They are desperately looking for a Free trade agreement with India. Indian govt has put relaxation of visa rules for Indians as one of the primary conditions for any such deal.

      Truss as Foreign secretary was keen to agree on this condition last year but Priti Patel was against it.

    • As mentioned on an earlier thread the mutable T Square of Moon Neptune and Venus in the chart of Lynn Truss does suggest an inclination to be “Away with the Faeries”. I actually think the significance of the contents of her Chancellor’s mini budget are being overplayed. The contents while contentious were not of huge fiscal significance compared to the Covid and Energy bailouts earlier. The problem for the government was that the financial markets were already in a febrile mood because of the war in the Ukraine, the current natural gas issues and rising US interest rates. In those circumstances making grand announcements heralding a new fiscal era for the U.K. government was actually begging for trouble. It was particularly stupid because most of the tax cuts don’t have immediate effect and could have been in the full Budget due in November 2022 which would also incorporate full details of future spending in the OBR report. If nothing it showed that both Truss and Kwarting were politically naive and have now surely doomed the Conservatives to lose the next election.

      • I think Truss wanted to stamp her mark of being PM. The mini budget could be seen as a Trumpet heralding the new leader. She is now being reported as being unwilling to publish what the Budget Of Responsibility Group thought about it. Like Marjorie states above, this is the Brexit Budget that the Brexiteers really wanted in June 2016. What was not taken in account what that the country has had an influx of Refugees who are economically inactive yet supplemented , along with electricity increases and trade deficit. It was the perfect storm. It is reported in the Times today, that Kwarteng has a luncheon date with his old hedge fund boss on the 17th July. This same boss has just made an inordinate amount of money on the pound this week.

      • ‘As mentioned on an earlier thread the mutable T Square of Moon Neptune and Venus in the chart of Lynn Truss does suggest an inclination to be “Away with the Faeries”.‘

        Never underestimate Venus/Neptune’s capacity for sheer, bloody-minded denial and refusal to face facts. It’s an aspect which tends to get an easy ride but which in practice can create utter chaos for everyone around the Venus/Neptune person while they blithely carry on believing in their own version of reality. The reason they’re so often unlucky in love is usually down to their appalling choices based on some kind of white knight/captured princess rescue fantasy and they’re experts when it comes to playing out the drama triangle. I know this sounds harsh but I actively avoid them if I can.

    • Kwasi Kwarteng’s decidedly odd behaviour at the Queen’s funeral – laughing to himself, various tics, shuffles and gestures seemingly relating to an imaginary companion – do raise questions.
      The most charitable explanations involve a hands free mobile phone and usage of alkaloidal stimulants.
      The unkind have used that quaint Englishism ‘barking mad’, which is an observational saying based on the actual behavioral symptoms of those unfortunately thus afflicted.

  16. Many thanks Marjorie for this and the previous post on the difficult economic times ahead for the UK.

    Ideology, stubbornness, power & money. Dark side of Pluto.

  17. I thought at the time it was more about “ego-nomics” than economics – and the comments this morning from Truss would reinforce that….”I am prepared to make the controversial decisions”. I know that some commentators are saying that this is the most economically qualified PM and Chancellor ever – hmmm perhaps on paper and certainly Kwarteng has an impressively cerebral CV……….

    But common sense is severely lacking. Dom Cummings “Human hand grenade” was spot on.

  18. Baffling. The pandemic required HMG to borrow in excess of £500 billion, analysis of the recent tax cuts equates to £45 billion and the energy subsidy for domestic and commercial customers is close to £140 billion which had already been priced into the UK economy prior to the mini-budget. The UK, as a G7 country, was the only member to increase taxes after the pandemic which included NI (Labour and Conservative members were appalled), dividend and Corporation Tax and brought the planned 19% basic rate forward by one year. All this administration has done, is reverse those increases. I suspect the UK’s competitors in particular the EU who stated openly (Barnier) that they would not allow the UK to prosper and have tried everything to stifle the UK’s lead as probably the most important banking centre in the world, are not happy and neither are the Democrats in the US. The IMF’s statements should be ignored. Whatever they touch is destroyed, Greece, Argentina and they had to apologise to the UK in 2014 for the unfounded derisory comments about the UK economy headed at the time by Ms Lagarde who now has a conviction for negligence. The US is the elephant in the room.

    • Markets and Economists are sceptical of unfunded tax cuts with vague promises of future gain. Truss has insulted the public’s intelligence by saying she could find the money from a “growth plan” with “supply side reforms”, a plan Kwarteng refused to discuss with his own Office for Budget Responsibility.

      The nation was only rescued from imminent bankruptcy on Wednesday by the Bank of England, acting independently. It blew an astonishing £65bn on stabilising markets.

      It’s a gamble without any serious thinking about the future. Truss seems to be wedded to Toryism stuck in the pseudo-free market days of Margaret Thatcher of turbo-capitalism and City slickers. But Thatcher’s libertarianism was always skin deep and never lost touch with economic reality, let alone responsibility.

      You can fool the electorate but ‘you can’t buck the markets’, as Margaret Thatcher once famously said.

      • Its interesting that Truss had to be rescued by another orthodoxy, that of the Bank of England. She should now eat humble pie and and try to steady the ship.

      • Frighteningly, UK private pensions – upon which millions of people depend – threatened to ‘blow up’ due to cash shortages caused by the shorting of UK Government Bonds, in which UK pension funds are heavily invested.
        The irony is that the beneficiaries of UK private pensions are perhaps the biggest rock solid Tory voting bloc in the nation.

        • Also planned by Truss/Kwarteng is a complete ripping up of planning controls and green belts.

          Just see how that plays out with middle England. As if the Amersham by election wasn’t warning enough.

        • The pension sector are exposed by £1.5 trillion of LTIs to hedge against interest rate fluctuations on long term debt. LTIs have existed since before the 2008 crash. The question is why they were allowed to follow a reckless trajectory without the regulator or BofE noticing. Since American companies like Blackrock, JP Morgan are core sellers of LDIs into the U.K. market, there is a question as to whether they are specific to stressing the U.K. market or are a problem globally.

          It was unfortunate the BofE stated the U.K. was in recession which latest ONS figures show otherwise, as the implied long term potential debt impacts of the mini budget spooked the markets. Would the pound have been stronger if interest rates had been higher? Why was the BofE trying to unwind QE by selling a large amount of gilts (£800b)at the same time the government was trying to do the same.

          The Rouble is trading high at the moment yet the Russian economy is in a parlous state. So currency levels aren’t necessarily an indication of the health of an economy.

          It’s taken as given that The USA are using the strength of the dollar to choke inflation along with an expected unemployment rate of 5-7%. But the high dollar is weakening the EU who have a larger energy crisis, particularly Germany, so energy priced in dollars is increasing inflation outside the USA. The benefit of a strong dollar can only be because globally there is a 303 trillion dollar debt which the US will benefit on interest payments, perhaps a war chest to counterbalance Russias energy price windfall.

          Because of the strength of the dollar and the lack of sound energy policies in the EU, and the U.K., no one else in the G7 can use the strength of their own currency to do the same not even Germany that runs a balance of payments surplus. Yes it was a huge error not to give markets the OBR analysis on the impacts of the policy on debt liabilities and growth presumptions, it looked suspicious.

          However there are larger questions about the global economy as the use of QE after the 2008 crash followed by Covid by major economies appears to have reached its limits. The era of cheap debt appears to be at an end. The mini budget appears to have hit this turning point, but people will blame Truss not see the coincidences.

      • Ann – if you’re going to quote directly from The Guardian’s article by Simon Jenkins*, you should cite it. Not plagiarise and pass it off as your own.

        * “Trussonomics has been exposed as a childish absurdity. Trussopolitics is even worse”

    • Baffling your post certainly is! EU never said it would not allow UK to prosper, only that it would not accept the UK becoming an offshore tax haven, which I suppose this budget is supposed to be the first step towards. Not working out too well so far…
      Similarly Ms Lagarde has never headed the UK economy, but I suspect you didn’t read what you wrote before pressing send. It all comes across as rather incoherent. Especially the last sentence, for which no context or evidence is offered.
      I had to look up what TLDR meant but now I know and the comment is deserved.

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