Liz Truss grilled on mortgage prices and borrowing
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Liz Truss defended the actions of Her Government, insisting the mini-budget Kwasi Kwarteng unveiled last week will ensure Britons are able to avoid preposterously high bills. The financial plan however resulted in a collapse of the pound and pushed banks into withdrawing mortgage deals because of the interest rate chaos that followed. The Prime Minister was challenged about the strategy, with BBC Stoke host John Acres leaving her seemingly “lost for words” with his line of questioning.
Ms Truss said: “It’s also about how we grow the size of the pie so everyone can benefit.”
But the BBC presenter pointed out: “By borrowing more and putting our mortgages up?”
The Prime Minister defended the financial plan: “We need to borrow more this winter for the energy crisis we are facing. And I think that was the right thing to do.”
Mr Acres however appeared unconvinced by her argument, noting: “We’re going to spend more in mortgage fees under what you’ve done based on the predictions than we would’ve saved with energy.”
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The comment temporarily stunned Ms Truss, who remained silent for a few seconds before insisting: “I don’t think anyone is arguing we shouldn’t have acted on energy.”
BBC Brexitcast creator Dino Sofos commented on the exchange: “Sweet lord. The PM is literally lost for words on BBC Stoke when questioned about mortgages.”
Twitter user @rednthehead said: “I could hear the cogs whirring in the silences. Trussbot needs a service and oil change.”
Political commentator Rupert Myers commented: “This is the most brutal silence I have heard on the radio.”
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And Times Radio producer Ollie Cole added: “In this final interview, pressed on the detail by BBC Radio Stoke’s John Acres, Liz Truss just fell to total silence upon being asked a question.”
Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng “underlined the Government’s clear commitment to fiscal discipline” at a meeting with Bank of America, JP Morgan, Standard Chartered, Citi, UBS, Morgan Stanley, and Bloomberg among others.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer also told the meeting that the mini-budget would “expand the supply side of the economy through tax incentives and reforms, helping to deliver greater opportunities and bear down on inflation.”
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Mortgage borrowers have been hit by a record overnight drop in the choice of home loan products as the economic fallout from Mr Kwarteng’s financial strategy continues.
The Bank of England has been facing calls to convene an emergency meeting to consider hiking interest rates to try and count the Government tax cut measures.
BoE’s chief economist Huw Pills said “significant monetary response” may be required but signaled this would not come until policymakers are due to meet as scheduled in November.
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