NEW YORK (AP) – Britain’s Prime Minister Liz Truss said Tuesday she was ready to make “unpopular decisions” such as B. raising bonuses for wealthy bankers to spur the country’s sluggish economy to grow.
Ahead of a government emergency declaration late in the week, Truss said tax cuts are key to boosting economic growth, although they benefit the richest more than the poorest.
“We have to make tough decisions to get our economy right,” Truss said. “We have to look at all tax rates. So the corporate tax needs to be competitive with other countries in order for us to attract that investment.”
Truss, who has only been prime minister for two weeks, is under immediate pressure to deliver on her promises to tackle a cost-of-living crisis ravaging Britain and an economy headed for a potentially protracted recession.
Critics say their pro-free market and low-tax economic views, inspired by Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan, are the wrong answer to the crisis.
Truss, who is in New York to attend the UN General Assembly, confirmed the budget statement will reverse an income tax hike introduced earlier this year to fund health care and scrap a plan to increase corporate taxes.
She also made it clear that the government would lift bonus caps imposed on bankers after the 2008 global financial crisis.
“I don’t accept this argument that tax cuts are somehow unfair,” she told British broadcasters in interviews on the 102nd floor of the Empire State Building.
“We should base our tax policies on what will help our country prosper – what will produce this economy that benefits everyone in our country. What I don’t accept is the idea that corporate tax cuts don’t help people in general.”
She said Britain is facing “incredibly difficult” economic times, fueled by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has pushed up global energy prices.
“It’s important to me that we grow the UK economy because that will ultimately lead to higher wages and more investment in towns and cities across the country,” she said. “That will ultimately put more money in people’s pockets.”