A Treasury minister has denied the falling pound and rising borrowing costs show markets are worried about today’s mini-budget – insisting growth is what matters.
Simon Clarke also rejected warnings that the Growth Plan – to cut taxes by at least £30bn, including a possible stamp duty reduction – is “a gamble” that will reward the rich rather than the poor.
Ahead of the mini-budget, the pound dropped under $1.13 against the dollar and public borrowing costs jumped to their highest level since 2011 – as the Bank of England warned it will trigger further interest rate hikes.
But the Treasury chief secretary shrugged off the evidence of fear in the financial markets, telling Sky News: “What the markets want to know is whether the UK economy is going to grow.”
Reversing the national insurance hike will hand £3,890 to the highest earners, just £175 to those earning under £50,000 and nothing at all to people paid under £12,750, according to the Treasury’s own figures.
But Mr Clarke said it was “a nonsense” to talk of a return to 1980s-style “trickle-down economics”, condemned by Joe Biden, insisting “a more successful economy is good for everybody”.
And he claimed: “This isn’t a gamble. The weight and history of evidence is with us that a more dynamic economy is unleashed by lowering the burden of tax.”