Biden calls abandoned UK tax cut plan a ‘mistake’
President Biden on Saturday criticized a tax cut plan that British Prime Minister Liz Truss has now largely backed away from as a “mistake.”
“Well, it’s predictable. I mean, I wasn’t the only one that thought it was a mistake,” Biden said during a trip to Portland, Ore.
Truss announced plans last month to cut taxes by the equivalent of roughly $50 billion without detailing how it would be paid for, spooking investors.
The plan sent the price of gilts, which are British government bonds, tumbling as the pound plunged to a record low against the dollar.
The turmoil led the Bank of England to begin an emergency bond-buying program to stabilize the bond market and protect pension funds, many of which have significant exposure to the gilt market. That bond-buying program ended on Friday.
“But I think that the idea of cutting taxes on the super wealthy at a time when — anyway, I just think — I disagreed with the policy, but that’s up to Great Britain to make that judgment, not me,” Biden said on Saturday.
The White House, as recently as Friday, had previously declined to comment on the plan.
The tax cut announcement has caused political headaches for Truss, who became prime minister last month.
Truss replaced her Treasury chief on Friday as she backed away from her intent to halt a planned increase in the corporate tax rate, and Truss now faces criticism from some in her own party.
“It was wrong to fly blind and to announce those plans without reassuring people with the discipline of the Office for Budget Responsibility that we actually can afford to pay for them,” Jeremy Hunt, Britain’s new Treasury chief, told the BBC. “We have to show the world we have a plan that adds up financially.”
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