Sunak delays presentation of UK economic plan aimed at making ‘right decisions’

The proposal will be presented on November 17; The Minister of Finance defends the importance of working in the medium term to stabilize the economy and restore confidence in the country

JUSTIN TALLIS / AFPrishi sunak
Rishi Sunak will present his economic plan on November 17

Rishi Sunaknew Prime Minister of UK, informed on Wednesday 26 that he would postpone until November the presentation of the budgetary plan which should reassure the markets, after the upheaval caused by the controversial economic measures of his predecessor. The proposal will be presented on November 17, two and a half weeks later than originally planned. The delay, Sunak’s first economic policy decision since taking over from Liz Truss On Tuesday, it raised Britain’s borrowing costs in financial markets, but far less than what was seen in the sell-off prompted by Truss’s tax cut plan in September. The announcement of the change was made by Finance Minister Jeremy Hunt, in a televised statement, saying more time would be needed to ensure the new plan takes into account the latest economic forecasts. “It is important to arrive at the right decisions and that there is time for these decisions to be confirmed with Cabinet,” the statement said. “Our number one priority is economic stability and restoring confidence that the UK is a sustainable country, and for that reason the medium-term fiscal plan is hugely important,” Hunt said. “I want to confirm that it will demonstrate that the debt will go down in the medium term.” The postponement of the fiscal plan will complicate life for Britain’s central bank next week when it releases projections for the economy without knowing the details of the government’s fiscal plans, in addition to making a decision on monetary policy. The Bank of England is expected to raise rates again on November 3, likely from 2.25% to 3.0%, but investors raised their bets by a full percentage point after the announcement of the budget postponement.

Sunak appeared in Parliament for the first time on Wednesday and took part in his first weekly session of Prime Minister’s Questions. The new Conservative leader lived his baptism of fire there in the face of a Labor opposition, favorite in the polls, which is calling for early legislative elections after the second appointment in two months of a head of government without elections. 62% of British voters, in a country of 67 million people, want the general elections to be brought forward before the end of the year, rather than waiting for the start of 2025, according to an Ipsos poll. Billionaire Sunak ‘is not on the same side as the workers’, Labor opposition leader Keir Starmer told the House of Commons, asking the new prime minister ‘why don’t you test and let yourself should the workers not have a say in calling a general election? The Tory leader shunned the question, as well as that of Scottish nationalists, of whether social care will rise in his next budget to match inflation, which is already above 10%. “I have always acted to protect the most vulnerable”, limited himself to replying the former Minister of Finance, who distributed generous aid during the pandemic, triggering a public debt which must now be repaid. He insisted on the need to control inflation, “the enemy that impoverishes everyone”, and assured that he will take “the difficult decisions which are necessary in a fair and compassionate way”.

*With information from AFP

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