As Liz Truss and her Tory ‘doomsday cult’ lead us towards economic oblivion, rebel Tory MPs are gathering – Angus Robertson MSP

This is really, really bad. Prime Minister Liz Truss and her new Chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng, have barely got their feet under the desks in Number 10 and 11 Downing Street, but have already sent the country on a dramatic downward economic spiral.

New Prime Minister Liz Truss is already under pressure over her government's handling of the economy (Picture: Carl Court/Getty Images)
New Prime Minister Liz Truss is already under pressure over her government's handling of the economy (Picture: Carl Court/Getty Images)

This sounds hyperbolic, I know. But let me give you the stats.

The pound fell to its lowest ever rate against the US dollar. It is down against virtually every currency on Earth.

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For homeowners, the future is bleak. Let’s take someone with a mortgage of £250,000. It is likely their interest rate was set at around three per cent. When it comes to re-mortgaging from now, their interest rate will rise to 6.5 per cent.

This means their annual interest bill rises from £7,500 to £16,250. In other words, homeowners will need to find over £700 extra per month to not lose their house.

The only good news is for those earning over £150,000. Every penny earned over that amount will be taxed at five per cent less. For those under 0.1 per cent who earn more than £1 million, they will be better off by over £55,000. And, get this, for the 2,500 people with over £3.5m in income, they will save an extra £400k every year. This will cost the rest of us £1 billion.

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Oh, and bankers’ bonuses will not be subject to any limits anymore. Though even this was not enough to appease those who run the banks. Vasileios Gkionakis, Citigroup’s head of foreign exchange strategy, said: “The UK is now in the midst of a currency crisis.” Paul Donovan, of UBS bank, said: “Investors seem inclined to regard the UK Conservative Party as a doomsday cult.”

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Labour's shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves accuses Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng of...
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These are the choices of Conservative ideologues pursuing policies based only on an obsession with hands-off, free-market economics that has proved to cause only harm to the vast majority of people.

Will they see what they are doing and respond? Of course not. They have refused to subject themselves to examination by the Office of Budget Responsibility, the independent body established to provide economic forecasts and analysis of the public finances, because the spending announcement is not ‘technically’ a budget.

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Doubtless Liz Truss, Kwasi Kwarteng and her fellow fiscal extremists will be telling themselves all will be well in the end. As the pound started to free-fall following the mini-budget, the Chancellor did acknowledge that ‘technically’ the UK was in recession (the Bank of England are expected to formally confirm this at the end of the month) but he wouldn’t respond to immediate market reactions; he was “focusing on the longer-term” strategy.

As you know, things have continued to dramatically worsen this week. When asked if he had anything to say about what was going on, Kwasi Kwarteng gave a meek “no”, saying “I’m not making any comment just now”. It seems the Chancellor’s “longer-term strategy” will remain secret – perhaps even from himself.

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This government are the harbingers of economic destruction, but they are taking no responsibility. This needs to stop. But, it may again be the Conservative party that brings down its own leader – there are multiple reports that Tory MPs are sending in letters of no confidence in the Prime Minister.

Whatever happens, this needs to stop, and we need out.

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Angus Robertson is the SNP MSP for Edinburgh Central and Constitution, External Affairs and Culture Secretary