Nick Ferrari scolds James Cleverly over economy comments
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Nick Ferrari slapped down James Cleverly after the Foreign Secretary claimed the UK was “in a good place” and said the country’s “growth is outperforming a number of our international competitors.” The LBC presenter proceeded to list the economic storms battering the UK financial markets, putting the minister on the spot during a tense radio interview clash.
Mr Ferrari asked the Foreign Secretary: “Are we living in the same country?
“Growth is down to 0.2 percent, our inflation is higher than some of our closest European friends like France and Germany.
“We have the Bank of England stepping in with scores of billions of pounds to shore up our pension funds.
“We have a number of mortgage products being taken off the market with zero notice, and a lot of people struggling to now pay their mortgage or indeed getting a mortgage which is subsequently withdrawn because they can’t make the payments.”
“And you say we are in a good place, we must be in different countries Foreign Secretary.”
Mr Cleverly replied: “Let’s just look at what would have happened had Prime Minister and Chancellor not made the interventions that they made a little earlier on this month.
“There were families looking at the credible prospect of energy bills of around £6000 a year, we have protected them from that.
‘”There were businesses texting me saying if they didn’t get support on their energy bills they would have to pull down the shutters and let people go.
Truss: Confidence will be built over time says Cleverly
“So we have protected those people, we have protected those businesses.”
On Wednesday, Mr Cleverly shied away from confirming or denying whether the government would retain its policy on low corporation tax on Thursday, saying only it was important to keep businesses competitive.
Prime Minister Liz Truss is under pressure to change tack on an economic package that has roiled markets, with some investors and her own lawmakers calling on her to reverse a plan for £43 billion of unfunded tax cuts, including scrapping an increase in corporation tax from 19 percent to 25 percent.
Asked in a series of interviews if the government would scrap that move, Cleverly said it was important to invest in businesses and help them stay competitive, and that he backed the overall project to kick-start economic growth.
“The chancellor will come to the despatch box,” he said when asked by Sky News whether the corporation tax plan would definitely stay.
“I think it’s absolutely right that we’ve made it clear that we want to invest in businesses.”
Prime Minster Liz Truss was elected last month by members of her party and not the broader electorate on a promise to snap the economy out of years of stagnation by cutting taxes and reforming areas such as planning, migration and employment.
But the September 23 launch of its new economic policy triggered a fire-sale in the government bond market that has driven up borrowing costs and mortgage rates and forced the Bank of England to intervene to protect pension funds.
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