Politics latest news: Growth plans and OBR forecast could be brought forward, hints Financial Secretary




  • In Business
  • 2022-09-30 08:50:11Z
  • By The Telegraph
liz truss news kwasi kwarteng mini budget obr labour - Daniel Leal/AFP
liz truss news kwasi kwarteng mini budget obr labour - Daniel Leal/AFP  
  • Truss keen to join new 'European political community'

  • Benefits hit as Truss tries to stem the bleeding

  • Labour surges to biggest poll lead since 1990s

  • Tory rebels threaten to block 45p tax change

  • Sadiq Khan summonsed to face committee

The Government's upcoming growth plans and the accompanying Office for Budget Responsibility forecast could be brought forward, the Financial Secretary hinted this morning.

Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng will today meet Richard Hughes, the chairman of the OBR, after insisting they would not ditch any of the tax-cutting measures they set out this time last week.

Andrew Griffith suggested on the Today programme that the further planned fiscal event on November 23 could happen sooner.

"The quicker we can get to a position that we are able to lay out our plans for growth, make sure that the OBR can understand those, reflect them in the forecasts, and get those forecasts out in the market [the better]," Mr Griffith said.

He admitted the effects of last week's mini-Budget were "absolutely part of" the current financial turmoil, but insisted the chaos of recent days all stemmed from Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine.

​​Follow the latest updates below.

09:50 AM

Breaking: Liz Truss makes statement on Putin annexations

09:39 AM

Michael Gove's conference speaking spree

Liz Truss is facing a major Tory conference headache with arch-critic Michael Gove due to speak at more than half a dozen fringe events.

Mr Gove, a former Cabinet heavyweight, backed Rishi Sunak in the leadership vote and has described Ms Truss's economic plans as a "holiday from reality".

Michael Gove - Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
Michael Gove - Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire  

His appearance will come amid simmering discontent on the Conservative back benches over the financial chaos unleashed by the mini-Budget.

Mr Gove, sacked by Boris Johnson in early July, did not take part in any events when he was last on the back benches in 2016. But this year he is to address eight different fringe meetings when Tory ministers, MPs and activists gather in Birmingham next week.

Read more: How Gove could cause trouble for Truss

09:31 AM

God save us from the wicked social media giants

If I could press a button that would mean social media was never invented, I would do it in a heartbeat, Allison Pearson writes.

Parents like me who have watched a child suffer from mental health problems triggered by the emotional crack cocaine distributed by the rapacious algorithm dealers of California feel so helpless.

Get off your phone," we plead. But a phone is not just a phone. It's their whole world. How do you confiscate a world?

Now, the inquest into the death of Molly Russell at North London Coroner's Court has brought a long-overdue moment of reckoning.

Allison Pearson: Dangerous algorithms threaten every household

09:21 AM

Use conference to reassure public, urges former minister

Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng must "restore order" to the public finances, a former justice minister said this morning.

James Cartlidge, the Tory MP for South Suffolk who supported Rishi Sunak during the leadership campaign, wrote on Twitter:

09:18 AM

'My mortgage offer went from 4.5% to 10.5%'

"My mortgage offer went from 4.5 per cent to 10.5 percent," a first-time buyer has told an incredulous BBC Question Time audience.

The young audience member said her lender had doubled the interest rate on her prospective mortgage since Friday, which has priced her out.

She told the panel: "I was actually in the process of getting a mortgage as a young person and I was told my initial interest rate would be 4.5 per cent and then I was told today that the lender has pulled that offer and now the best offer I can get is about 10.5 per cent."

The other audience members and panel looked gobsmacked at the interest rate hike, with audible gasps and murmurs of "wow" filling the auditorium.

India McTaggart has the full story

09:00 AM

Pound briefly erases all previous losses

The pound's rally early this morning saw it briefly erase all of its precipitous losses from last week following the announcement of the new government's mini-Budget, writes James Warrington.

Sterling has gained more than 7pc from its all-time low of $1.0327 at the start of the week. In early Asian trade today it was sitting at $1.1168 - about the same level it was at before Kwasi Kwarteng began his speech last Friday, announcing the UK's sweeping tax cuts. However, at around 4am it dropped down to $1.1092.

According to strategists, the Bank of England's bond purchases and the stabilisation of gilts yields were a big factor in soothing investor fears.

Follow the latest business news here

08:54 AM

David Frost: Liz Truss has offered sound economics, but terrible communication

\"Liz Truss is taking on the economic establishment – the conventional view, the view of the international hectoring classes\" - Ahn Young-joon/AP
\"Liz Truss is taking on the economic establishment – the conventional view, the view of the international hectoring classes\" - Ahn Young-joon/AP  

Lord Frost: Why Truss cannot afford to give her enemies ammunition

08:46 AM

Breaking: Financial Secretary hints growth plans could be brought forward

Andrew Griffith tells the Today programme:

"The quicker we can get to a position that we are able to lay out our plans for growth, make sure that the OBR can understand those, reflect them in the forecasts, and get those forecasts out in the market."

08:35 AM

Echoes of 1997 as Labour lead surges

Labour now enjoys a 33-point lead over the Conservatives, after days of market turmoil sparked by Kwasi Kwarteng's mini-Budget on Friday.

Liz Truss's Government has been engulfed in a political and economic crisis since then after the £45 billion tax-cutting package spooked markets and forced the Bank of England to intervene.

Angela Rayner and Sir Keir Starmer - Oli Scarff/AFP
Angela Rayner and Sir Keir Starmer - Oli Scarff/AFP  

Now, days before Ms Truss arrives at her first Conservative Party conference as Prime Minister, a poll from YouGov suggests that Labour currently sits on 54 per cent - 33 points ahead of the Tories on 21 per cent.

According to the poll, support for the Conservatives has fallen by seven points in the past four days, handing Labour a mammoth lead against the party.

Read the full story here

08:31 AM

'There's a lot of measures to come'

Andrew Griffith insisted it was "important" the Government now took up the independent forecasts of the OBR, after previously rejecting an offer to do this for last week's mini-Budget.

The Financial Secretary said there were more measures to follow "in the coming weeks", without which the OBR would not be able to draw up accurate projections.

"There's a lot of measures about how we're going to grow the economy [about which] the detail is yet to come out," he told the Today programme.

"There's a lot of measures in there, bringing out the infrastructure plans, dealing with the damaging strikes that mean people tomorrow aren't going to get their post and aren't going to be able to take their train to work."

Mr Griffith also promised to "unlock" the housing market by building more homes.

08:28 AM

George Osborne welcomes Liz Truss's OBR meeting

This from the former Chancellor, who described it as a "welcome move" - and appeared to take a swipe at Ms Truss's credibility:

08:26 AM

Minister: We understand your concerns - but this is a global problem

The Financial Secretary said his Government "understand the concerns over every household" amid the current market turmoil.

Andrew Griffith insisted rising interest rates and inflation were part of a "wider global phenomenon".

Pressed on recent mortgage chaos, he told the Today programme: "It's a feature of the mortgage market and I'm very conscious that this doesn't help your listeners. There's a whole package of measures that we want to come forward with.

"We've seen a particular dynamic over the last week, that's absolute the case, no one should get around that. In fairness, this all stems to the world that changed on February 24, the issue about the cost of energy. Yesterday, German inflation hit 11 per cent, right, that's higher than the rate of inflation in the UK."

08:18 AM

Benefits hit as Liz Truss tries to stem the mini-Budget bleeding

Benefits payments are set to fall in real terms under government plans to reassure the City that it will control spending.

Efforts to calm the markets in the wake of the mini-Budget came as a new poll showed Labour had a 33-point lead over the Conservatives - believed to be the biggest for any party since the late 1990s.

Yesterday, Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng used interviews to insist they would not ditch any element of their tax-slashing announcements, made last Friday, after a week in which the pound fell to record lows and interest rates soared.

Instead, they made it clear that a squeeze on government departments was coming, with public spending remaining at levels agreed last year despite inflation eating into those budgets.

Ben Riley-Smith and Nick Gutteridge have the story

08:16 AM

'Reverse the Budget - that would be a start'

Labour has urged the Conservatives to cancel their annual party conference as the shadow business secretary railed against Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng's plans.

A deeply divided Tory Party heads to Birmingham between Sunday and Wednesday for what many had hoped would be a celebratory coronation for Liz Truss, but has become a crucial early test of what is already an embattled premiership.

Speaking to Sky News, Jonathan Reynolds urged Ms Truss: "Stop these daft statements - I mean the Bank of England and the Government are in completely different places, let's be frank, that's another reason why there's so little confidence in the British economy.

"Cancel your conference, get back to Parliament, reverse the Budget, that would be a start."

Mr Reynolds added that individual policies in the Budget added up to a picture that was "unsustainable... their whole approach to this is at fault."

08:11 AM

Good morning

Dominic Penna here, the Telegraph's political reporter, guiding you through another busy day in politics as Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng have a crunch meeting with the Office for Budget Responsibility.

The meeting should force a rethink of their mini-Budget, a leading Rishi Sunak ally urged.

Mel Stride, who was the chairman of Rishi Sunak's leadership campaign, insisted they had to change their plans - which he insisted did not meet "reasonable" fiscal rules.

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