The chancellor has admitted it has been a tough day after he was forced to U-turn on cutting income tax for the rich. Kwasi Kwarteng began his keynote speech at the Conservative Party conference by saying: "What a day, it has been tough but we need to focus on the job in hand." Just hours earlier he announced he was ditching plans to remove the 45p rate of income tax for the wealthiest 1%, unveiled at the mini-budget 10 days ago. And after his speech, it was revealed Mr Kwarteng is bringing forward his medium-term financial statement from 23 November to this month, despite this morning saying he would not. He admitted to Tory members his economic plan had caused "a little turbulence" but continued to back his vision for growth, saying: "With economic growth, everybody benefits, and I mean, everybody." Chancellor vows 'no more distractions' - follow live updates from Birmingham In his original speech, before the U-turn, he had been set to say the government must … [Read more...] about Kwasi Kwarteng: What a day! Chancellor admits fiscal plan caused ‘a little turbulence’ but vows to plough on with economic plan
Argentine economic crisis
Another week, another EU summit on the migration crisis. These meetings are often marked more by their pageantry than their outcomes, with a communiqué issued at the end of the meeting that is often forgotten by most leaders by the time they step on the plane home. That is, until the EU summit last week. For the first time, EU leaders actually sat down and worked on an agreement with Turkey that sought to stem the flow and cut the link between boarding a boat and finding a new home in Europe. The details will be decided at Thursday's summit, but the outline of a deal has been agreed. Finally, some concrete ideas. But many of them just won't work. The draft EU-Turkey agreement is predicated on the assumption that Turkey can do much of our work for us, in exchange for a very high price. We will return everyone who lands in Greece —refugees and economic migrants alike—and for every person we send back Turkey will give us a genuine refugee in return. On the face of it, it … [Read more...] about Why The EU-Turkey Refugee Deal Won’t Work
Liz Truss looks certain to follow her 45p tax rate U-turn with another climbdown on the Northern Ireland Protocol. The Prime Minister wanted Brussels to rip up and renegotiate the whole Protocol because its problems were "baked into it" and undermining the Good Friday Agreement. Talks are now set for a reboot, but there is no sign the EU will rewrite the Irish Sea border treaty , or offer the fresh negotiating mandate Ms Truss called for. Rather than a brand new agreement, a deal will be made in the legal framework of the existing Protocol. Some border checks on British goods will remain, but others will be cut in exchange for bolstered market surveillance. At the same time, the Prime Minister has toned down her threats to use the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill to tear up the Irish Sea border treaty. It seems that Ms Truss has caved on her demand for a wholesale renegotiation of the Protocol. The groundwork is being laid for intense, secret "tunnel" negotiations … [Read more...] about After Liz Truss’s 45p tax cut U-turn, the Northern Ireland Protocol could be next
If you’ve been worried by a fall in the New Zealand dollar this week, spare a thought for anyone you know in Britain. On the back of intense financial markets turmoil, the British pound fell to almost equal the US dollar this week – hitting its lowest point since the 1980s – and there were even concerns that some giant pension funds were at risk of collapse. The Bank of England was forced to take emergency action to head off a crisis. So what’s happening, and what does it mean for New Zealand? READ MORE: Britannia unhinged: The UK economy risks a crisis under Liz Truss UK central bank intervenes in market to halt economic crisis Government debt is becoming less of a big deal As far as new prime ministers go, Liz Truss has made her presence felt in Britain. Her new Chancellor of the Exchequer, Kwasi Kwarteng – he’s the equivalent of our Finance Minister – revealed a mini-budget on Friday . It included £45 billion of tax cuts, particularly for the well-off, … [Read more...] about ‘A global recession is ever more likely’: What does the UK meltdown mean for us?
Enlarge this image A poor economy and nine years of recession have caused many to leave Puerto Rico. Margalit Francus/Flickr hide caption toggle caption Margalit Francus/Flickr A poor economy and nine years of recession have caused many to leave Puerto Rico. Margalit Francus/Flickr The island of Puerto Rico is caught in an economic crisis . While the rest of the U.S. is seeing economic growth, Puerto Rico is struggling to emerge from nine years of recession. The poor economy has spurred hundreds of thousands to leave the island. The U.S territory is more than $72 billion in debt, running low on cash and on the verge of default. It's led many to call it the Greece of the Caribbean. Joseph Rosenbloom, who directs municipal credit research at investment firm AllianceBernstein, laughs when asked about the comparison. It's not long ago that California and its debt problems were being compared to Greece, he says. "I guess the comparison … [Read more...] about Broke And Barred From Bankruptcy, Puerto Rico Seeks Outside Cash
The chairman of the Conservative Party has confirmed he attended a champagne bash with Kwasi Kwarteng hours after the controversial mini-budget - and did not rule out government plans being shared. Jake Berry this morning said he was at a drinks reception for business leaders - including at least one hedge fund manager - at the home of a Tory donor on Friday, September 23. But he dismissed this as the "normal drumbeat" of Tory party life - amid calls from the Lib Dems for an inquiry into the gathering . Labour today demanded a list of attendees, with chair Anneliese Dodds telling her Conservative counterpart: "Despite the considerable market turmoil taking place at the time, it appears that both you, as Conservative Party Chairman, and the Chancellor, prioritised attending this party." According to the Sunday Times , some of those present may have gone on to profit from the plummeting pound as markets went into turmoil. Insiders also claimed that Mr Kwarteng … [Read more...] about Tory chair admits he and Kwasi Kwarteng went to Budget day hedge funders’ champagne bash
Over 650 migrants died at the U.S.-Mexico border in 2021, as of the most recent data posted in a Wednesday report by the International Organization for Migration's Missing Migrants Project. This figure represents a 24 percent jump from the previous high of 524 posted in 2019, prior to the pandemic, under then-President Donald Trump . Furthermore, this number represents a steeper jump than the figures reported over the last three years of the Obama administration when a high of 412 was reported in 2016, representing a 58 percent change. In the first year of his presidency, Joe Biden has overseen a continued surge of migration at the Southwest border that rose each month of his tenure from the end of January 2021 up until July 2021. At its peak, encounters between U.S. Customs and Border Protection posted nearly 214,000 encounters over the month of July. Since that time, the number has slowly dropped each month, with the most recent data for October reporting over 164,000 … [Read more...] about 650 Die at Border in First Year of Biden, 24 Percent More Than Prior Peak
ANKARA (Reuters) - Iran's Revolutionary Guards did well under international sanctions, and the elite military force is destined to become still richer now they've been lifted. Iran's clerical rulers have supported economic growth of the Guards, rewarding the group for sanctions-busting as well as suppressing dissent at home and helping Tehran's allies abroad - notably Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Now the country is expecting an economic boom in the post-sanctions era and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), will be a beneficiary. Likewise, the leadership will ensure it is well funded to continue the effort in the regional crisis, including the Syrian civil war. The Guards aren't entirely off the hook, even though the United States, European Union and United Nations lifted most sanctions on Saturday under a deal with world powers where Tehran agreed to curbs on its nuclear program. Washington has noted that "U.S. statutory sanctions focused on Iran's support for … [Read more...] about Who Benefits From the End of Sanctions Against Iran?
When things go wrong (and they always do go wrong), the people who are of most use are those who calmly set about solving the problem, fixing what is broken and clearing up the mess. Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng, in his interview today with The Mail on Sunday, is cool and thoughtful about the storm which engulfed him. He is also commendably frank about the crisis which broke out after his mini-Budget, not trying to pretend that nothing went wrong. Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng, in his interview today with The Mail on Sunday, is cool and thoughtful about the storm which engulfed him And he has some sensible things to say about the economic problems faced by the country and the political problems faced by the Government in the aftermath of those events. It is clear, as the tumult and the shouting die, that this was not, as some tried to present it, a repeat of the ERM crisis that destroyed the Major Government’s reputation for economic competence nearly 30 years ago. With … [Read more...] about MAIL ON SUNDAY COMMENT: An admirable show of restraint in the face of Labour’s bigotry
British Prime Minister Liz Truss has said she could have done a better job “laying the ground” for her package of unfunded tax cuts , but insisted she would push on with an economic plan that has caused turmoil on financial markets and weakened the country’s public finances. Truss acknowledged that the UK faces “a very turbulent and stormy time”, but said her policies would lead to a “high-growth, low-tax economy” in the longer term. The comments are unlikely to calm Truss’ Conservative Party , which opens its four-day annual conference on Sunday in the central England city of Birmingham amid plunging poll ratings and growing public discontent. Truss took office less than a month ago , promising to radically reshape Britain’s economy to end years of sluggish growth. But the government’s September 23 announcement of a stimulus package that includes £45 billion (NZ$89 billion) in tax cuts, to be paid for by government borrowing, sent the pound tumbling to a record low … [Read more...] about Britain’s Liz Truss sticks by UK tax cut plan as Conservatives fret over election