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Truss and Kwarteng to meet with OBR amid market turmoil

Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng will meet with head of the Office of Budget Responsibility on Friday, in the latest effort by the pair to reassure markets and voters that the economic turmoil of recent days is under control.

September 30, 2022
By Dominic McGrath, PA
30 September 2022

Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng will meet with head of the Office of Budget Responsibility on Friday, in the latest effort by the pair to reassure markets and voters that the economic turmoil of recent days is under control.

Treasury and Downing Street sources hit back at suggestions it was an emergency meeting, but it comes after days of chaos in the financial markets and fears of rocketing mortgage bills sparked by the Chancellor’s mini-budget last week.

The pair will meet with Richard Hughes, the head of the independent spending watchdog pushed to the fore amid the political and economic fallout from Friday’s mini-budget.

 
 

News of the meeting was welcomed Chair of the Treasury Select Committee Mel Stride, one of the growing caucus of Conservatives with concerns about the Government’s plans.

He urged the meeting to be a “reset moment”, echoing earlier calls from fellow Tory MPs for a “plan B” from the Government.

Sir Charles Walker offered the starkest warning so far about the electoral peril his party was in, after a YouGov poll for The Times showed Labour opening up a massive 33-point lead over the Conservatives.

Sir Charles admitted that his party would be “wiped out” if an election was called tomorrow, but ruled out the possibility of a leadership challenge against Ms Truss.

“If there was a General Election tomorrow, there won’t be but if there was, we would be wiped out… we would cease to exist as a functioning political party,” he said.

 
 

Both the Prime Minister and the Chancellor have said they are still committed to the plan, arguing that their £45 billion package of tax cuts is the the “right plan” for the economy.

And while declining to comment directly on the economic created by the mini-budget, Ms Truss told a round of BBC local radio interviews that her administration had to take “urgent action” to kick-start the economy and protect consumers from rising energy costs.

During a visit to an engine plant in Darlington, Mr Kwarteng said the package he announced in the Commons on Friday was “absolutely essential” if the economy was to generate the revenues needed to fund public services.

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