'Desperate gamble', Britain's Labour criticises government economic plans

Labour's finance policy chief Rachel Reeves takes aim at a lack of independent scrutiny of plans which went big on tax cuts

Reuters
Published : 23 Sept 2022, 10:04 AM
Updated : 23 Sept 2022, 10:04 AM

Britain's main opposition Labour Party criticised the Conservative government's economic plans on Friday, saying the new prime minister and finance minister were like "two desperate gamblers in a casino" who had run out of ideas.

Rachel Reeves, Labour's finance policy chief, said the fiscal statement, or mini budget, set out by finance minister Kwasi Kwarteng had prioritised big business over working people by relying on a theory of "trickle down economics".

"The prime minister and chancellor (finance minister) are like two desperate gamblers in a casino chasing a losing run," she told parliament. "The argument peddled by the chancellor today isn't a great new idea, or a game changer as the minister said."

Taking aim at a lack of independent scrutiny of plans which went big on tax cuts, emergency support for fuel bills and tax breaks for new so-called investment zones, Reeves described the mini budget as "a budget without figures, a menu without prices".

"What has the chancellor got to hide?" she said, a point echoed by Conservative lawmaker Mel Stride, who also questioned why the government had gone ahead with the plans without new forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility.

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