By William Bracken
After a week during which the prime minister has been largely invisible from Britain’s airwaves, Liz Truss is today undertaking some 24 different radio and TV interviews to defend her government’s recent mini budget.
Truss spoke live to speak to 8 BBC Local radio stations between 8am and 9am, followed by 16 separate interviews with local BBC TV stations, all to be broadcast on their evening news stations this evening.
Speaking first this morning on BBC Radio Leeds, her first media appearance for four days, Liz Truss defended her mini budget saying, “We had to take decisive action to get the economy growing, to get Britain moving and also to deal with inflation. And of course that means taking controversial and difficult decisions but I am prepared to do that as prime minister, because what is important to me is that we get our economy moving, people are able to get through this winter, and we are prepared to do what it takes to make that happen”
Accepting that her growth plan would take time, Truss said, “A lot of these policies don’t have an overnight but the important thing is that we are putting the UK economy on a growth trajectory”
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Following up immediately after on BBC Radio Norfolk, Truss was challenged if she was still confident in her mini budget. In response, it was notable that Truss did not directly say “yes”. Instead she was very keen to stress the action the government was taking on energy.
Asked by BBC Norfolk’s, Chris Goreham, whether a strong leader sticks to Plan A regardless, Truss said, “This is the right plan that we have set out. This is about making sure that people are not facing ultra high fuel bills this winter”.
When she was regularly challenged about people’s concerns about the costs of their mortgages, Truss across all the stations stuck to a line about how the Bank of England is independent, and there exists great pressure across the world on international markets. In a tetchy exchange on BBC Radio Bristol, she was particularly keen to blame current market diffficulties on President Putin saying that ‘currencies were under pressure across the world’. On BBC Radio Stoke, Truss pointed to how interest rates were going up across the world.
Refuting criticism that the government’s recently announced tax cuts were unfair, Truss also went on the attack this morning,
Talking to BBC Radio Nottingham, Truss said that “Having lower taxes across the board, which is what we are doing across the board from national insurance to corporation tax, to income tax, helps everybody, because it helps grow the economy. For too long ,the debate in this country the debate has been about distribution rather than how we how grow our economy”.
Continuing she said, “It is not fair to have a recession, it is not fair to have a town where you are not getting investment, it is not fair if we don’t get high paid jobs in the future because we have got the highest tax burden in 70 years. That is what is not fair”.
As the political fall out from last week’s mini budget continues, the Liberal Democrat leader, Ed Davey, has today called for the Conservative Party to cancel their conference next week and recall parliament.
In the last few days the first few Conservative MPs have started to go public with their concerns around the Chancellor’s plans. These include Mel Stride, Roger Gale, and Mark Garnier.