When Norman Lamont put up the base rate 5% in one day before conceding defeat and reducing it back to 12% (yes 12%) by nightfall, you could be excused for thinking “we will never see anything like that again” – but here we are 30 years later and eating an even larger portion of humble pie with today’s Government U-turns just announced.
Black Wednesday was a terrible day but it was just one day with the threat of Armageddon receding quite quickly.
This farcical episode, which sits in a commercial break before attending the House of Commons later today (Monday 17 Oct), has been more drawn out and seen two minor policy withdrawals and a change in Chancellor before Jeremy Hunt took a hatchet to it today at 11.15am in an unprecedented chat with the Nation.
His boss the Prime Minister says “The British people rightly want stability, which is why we are addressing the serious challenges we face in worsening economic conditions.” Unfortunately for her, these conditions worsened throughout her campaign to become leader but with nobody trying to run the Country, we drifted to a point where an energy package needed to be urgently announced. And so the commitment to 2 years was sprung but not for businesses who were to be helped through the winter.
We now have parity and the removal of the majority of the announcements – in the main all of the ones which got her elected! So where does this leave us? It would seem that a brief review of the books from Mr Hunt has indicated close to administration and so we have the tax amendments today and the spending reductions to look forward to in a couple of weeks.
It remains difficult to see how Ms Truss can go to Parliament today and front out the anticipated turmoil as if nothing has happened let alone survive and lead her party towards the next election. Of course we all want tax cuts and her opponent for the leadership – who also had insight into the books – warned us that this was not the time and what would happen if that course of action was taken.
I like the idea of growth but as I said in my initial mini-Budget comments, with near full employment and everyone struggling to recruit labour how will this happen? I suspect corporation tax profits will be lower – in some cases much lower – with the impact of energy from the anecdotal examples I have gathered so I have concerns.
I never considered Ms Truss a leadership candidate but we surely cannot go through another campaign when MP’s decide the time for change is reached. Or can we?.