Small State, Low Tax Agenda Set Back a Generation by Bumbling Truss Admin: Rees-Mogg

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The chaotic failure of the short-lived Liz Truss government in Britain has set back any hope of rolling back the gargantuan British state or cutting now record-high taxes for “a generation”, a prominent Conservative has lamented.

When Liz Truss won the Conservative (Tory) Party leadership election in the summer and became the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, it was on the back of an optimistic view about the potential of Britain to surge economically if unshackled from high taxes and stifling regulation.

Yet a dissection of the short-lived Truss administration published in the Financial Times Magazine suggests she rushed to do too much too quickly, and didn’t sufficiently court the markets and the media to get their blessing for her plans.

The political figures speaking to the FT for the bumper piece, including a handful of think-tank chiefs and ex-Cabinet ministers, seem to agree that while the diagnosis and solutions offered by Truss were right, they were absolutely botched in execution.

Worst of all, perhaps, is the view that public perception of the rise and fall of Truss is linked so strongly to her policies, rather than her botched implementation of them, poisoning the well for others who would try to fix the British economy.

Articulating this view to the FT was Jacob Rees-Mogg, a standard bearer for the right of the Conservative Party who served in Truss’s government. Rees-Mogg said of Truss’s mistakes: “It’s a big setback. We now have the highest taxes for 70 years, and there is no challenge to that. There’s a long way to go for people with my beliefs to win this argument.”

Another, unnamed Tory quoted by the piece put it more bluntly: “She has screwed our agenda for a generation”.

One key theme emerging was the idea that while Truss had the big ideas right, she failed to implement them properly.

Kwasi Kwarteng, her close ally and Chancellor of the Exchequer — unceremoniously stabbed in the back when things started to go wrong — told the paper: “The strategic goal was right. Her insight and diagnosis of the problem was right… Where we fell woefully short was to have a tactical plan.”

This is certainly disheartening reading for middle-class Britons, traditionally the bedrock of Tory support but also — even after 12 years of Conservative rule — the worst-punished of income groups in the United Kingdom.

While the wealthy can realistically minimise tax liabilities or base themselves internationally and the less well-off receive considerable in-work benefits, the middle class — even the lower middle class, in some cases — are clobbered with fiscal drag and high marginal taxes, discouraging or preventing self-improvement.

As it stands, the United Kingdom has seen shockingly fast tax rises in recent years, leaving the tax burden at the highest levels since the 1940s, when the country was recovering from the colossal expense of holding National Socialism at bay in Europe.

No mainstream political party professes any real interest in reducing the tax burden and the current Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, insists there is “no other way”.

But there may be a glimmer of hope. The Reform Party — the rebranded Brexit Party of Nigel Farage, now seeking new purpose — is very strongly in favour of cutting the state and the tax burden, and professes to be enjoying a surge in new paid-up members.

GB News reports a poll which incredibly suggests that Reform enjoys half the support of the Conservatives nationwide, a major achievement for a minor party.

The Conservatives, the poll claims, are on 20 per cent — an appallingly poor showing for one of the ‘big two’ in Britain’s two-party system — and Reform are managing nine per cent. It is Reform’s highest-yet result with this particular pollster.

In a Continental European nation, such a showing would guarantee seats in Parliament and, quite possibly, representation or even kingmaker status in a government coalition.

The United Kingdom uses the First Past the Post system, however, which works reasonably effectively to keep new parties out of Parliament.

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