Rishi Sunak accuses Liz Truss of trying to ‘avoid scrutiny’ over budget holding scheme without official forecast | Political news

Liz Truss has been accused of trying to “avoid independent scrutiny” as she prepares to keep next month’s budget without an official economic forecast, although one is ready if she asks.

Having an emergency budget in September – in which she will commit to long-term funding – is a key part of the leader’s campaign to make it into Number 10.

The move was described as “worrying” by an economist and government finance expert, while the group behind Conservative leadership rival Rishi Sunak accused Ms Truss of wanting to “avoid scrutiny”. independence”.

The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) provides forecasts for all budgets as part of the agency’s founding law, enacted in 2010.

Although funded by the Treasury, it is completely independent.

While the OBR is ready to provide analysis to Ms. Truss if she requests it, the former Finance Minister – who usurped prime minister and chief secretary of the Treasury among her supporters – wants to continue without no need.

A Truss spokesman said: “The cost of living crisis means immediate action is needed. The Truss government will seek to act as soon as possible to help people across the UK. , by cutting taxes and introducing a moratorium on energy taxes.”

A source in the Truss campaign told Sky News that forecasting is not necessary for a “targeted financial event”.

But more criticism came from Margaret Thatcher’s former head of policy, the Tory Prime Minister, whom Ms. Truss has been accused of styling herself during the election campaign.

Lord Griffiths, now a Conservative colleague, said: “The Bank of England’s devastating outlook for the economy stands in stark contrast to Liz’s optimism – as she now prevents the OBR from doing its analysis. Accurate analysis of events seems to indicate a complete distrust of the policy she is advocating for.”

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Ms Truss has been criticized for seeing a lack of clarity on her money promises, with veteran former cabinet minister Michael Gove accused her of taking “a vacation from reality”.

She wants to spend £30m on tax cuts – like reverse the increase in National Insurance and cancel the corporate tax hike – using money that economists say no longer exists due to inflation.

Ms. Truss also suggested that she could spend more money by provide extra help to everyone this winterdespite having previously said she wouldn’t.

Mr Sunak said she would push the economy into an “inflationary spiral” if she didn’t choose between cutting taxes and providing cost-of-living assistance, as that would mean “dangerous” borrowing levels.

“The reality is that Truss cannot provide a package of support nor profit from a permanent, unreimbursed tax cut of £50 billion in one go,” his team said.

Read more:
Truss hits back at ‘signs of doom’ to her tax plans
Inflation drives UK cost of debt up 63% as borrowing outstrips forecasts

According to Thomas Pope, deputy chief economist at the Institute of Government, it is not unreasonable to not consult the OBR for short-term financial measures, like helping people over the winter.

Still, enacting tax cuts without a forecast – especially when ready – is a “disturbing decision”, he said.

“It would make sense to make some short-term announcements to ease the energy bill crisis without the OBR report because the immediate support package is not so dependent on the long-term outlook,” he said.

“But there should be no rush to announce any permanent tax cuts, and any such decision should be accompanied by the best information possible, which OBR will provide.”

Samuel Tombs, chief UK economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, has estimated that if Ms Truss wins, the UK budget deficit is likely to reach around £170bn in the current financial year, three times the size tissue before the pandemic.

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