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Financial Crisis: No sign of reversal as Liz Truss admits ‘disorders’ after tax cut package

In an interview with broadcasters in north-west Kent, the Prime Minister tried to defend the decision not to release the independent spending watchdog’s forecast until November 23.

The UK government’s energy price cap comes into effect on Saturday to protect homes and businesses from the worst effects of rising oil and gas prices.

Both Ms Truss and Mr Kwarteng – who came under fire from economists, the opposition and some Tory MPs after last days’ debacle – vowed to work “closely” with the OBR and said “examination” was appreciated.

Red paint splattered the entrance to Scottish Power’s Glasgow headquarters after a demonstration of affordable energy. Image: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

But the SNP’s Westminster leader, Ian Blackford, urged Mr Kwarteng to resign or be sacked after the decisions surrounding the mini-budget were made.

Mr Blackford said: “It’s time for this clueless Chancellor to pack his bags and go.

“Alongside the Prime Minister, Kwasi Kwarteng has brought a wrecking ball to the UK’s finances, leaving millions of families across the UK in dire straits.” And now we are told that despite the release of the OBR forecast to the UK Government, the Treasury will delay publication until November 23. This is simply unacceptable.

“Within days of taking office, we have seen once again the devastating consequences of Scotland being tied to this outdated, corrupt Westminster system. People’s mortgages, pensions and savings have all been badly hit – and yet the Tories have no plan to fix it.”

On Friday, the Prime Minister said there had not been enough time for the OBR to make a full mini-budget forecast.

“What was really important was that we acted as quickly as possible to help families and what we’re seeing this weekend is the energy price cap guarantee so a typical family doesn’t pay more than £2,500 on their energy bills. ” She said.

“If you recall we were expecting figures of up to £6,000 so it was important we acted quickly.

“There could not have been a full OBR forecast during this period, but we stand by the OBR forecast.

“We work together with the OBR.

“On November 23 there will be an event where the guidelines will be fully analyzed by the OBR.

“But making sure we work to help families who are struggling has been a real priority for me.

“We are also dealing with the economic slowdown that is being felt worldwide, so we had to act quickly under the given circumstances.”

Ms Truss, who pressed whether this week’s crisis was of her own making, admitted there had been “disruptions”.

She insisted the government was working closely with the Bank of England, which was forced to step in this week to calm markets through extraordinary intervention.

“It was very, very important that we took urgent action to deal with the costs families are facing this winter by introducing the Energy Price Guarantee which we have had to borrow to cover the costs of doing so , but also making sure we don’t raise taxes at a time when there are global economic forces caused by the war in Ukraine to contend with,” she said.

“Of course we work closely with the Bank of England. It is very important that monetary and fiscal policies are coordinated and I recognize that there have been disruptions, but it was really, really important that we were able to help the families as quickly as possible.

“This aid comes this weekend because this is going to be a difficult winter and I am committed to doing whatever I can to help families and the economy at this time.”

The fallout of recent days, combined with a YouGov poll that leaves her party 33 points behind Labour, has unnerved Ms Truss MPs.

Some have openly predicted the party could lose the next general election, although the prime minister declined to comment when asked if she was concerned about such a proposal.

She said: “What’s really important to me is that we’re doing everything we can to support families and businesses this winter. It is important to me that we get the UK economy back on track, that we keep taxes low, that we encourage investment in our country and that we get through these difficult times.

“What we see around the world is that we see pressure. The Federal Reserve in America has increased interest rates. We see pressure on currencies. We see governments around the world announcing energy programs.

“It is important to me that we support the British public and British businesses through this difficult winter and that is my 100 per cent focus as Prime Minister.”

As part of the Energy Price Guarantee, which caps the unit price paid for electricity and gas, this means the annual bill for a typical household in England, Scotland and Wales is kept at around £2,500 for the next two years.

A similar system operates in Northern Ireland.

The Government has said that without action, energy bills are likely to reach £3,500 from October and rise to £6,500 next year.

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