We warned you about ‘Trussonomics’ turmoil, say Rishi Sunak backers

Supporters of Rishi Sunak say they warned about the dangers of the approach being taken by Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng - Dylan Martinez/Reuters
Supporters of Rishi Sunak say they warned about the dangers of the approach being taken by Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng - Dylan Martinez/Reuters

Rishi Sunak backers have claimed they warned that “Trussonomics” would cause market turmoil amid the aftermath of Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini-Budget.

Markets are predicting that the pound will tumble to parity with the dollar by the end of the year, after Mr Kwarteng unveiled the biggest package of tax cuts in 50 years in an attempt to avert a recession.

The Treasury and the Bank of England both issued statements on Monday afternoon in an attempt to assuage investor concerns.

Mr Sunak railed against Liz Truss’s tax-cutting policies during his unsuccessful Conservative leadership campaign, with his campaign warning that she would increase borrowing to “historic and dangerous levels” while placing public finances in “serious jeopardy”.

In comments made on BBC Radio 2 last month, Mr Sunak warned: “Liz’s plans are promising the earth to everybody. I don’t think you can have your cake and eat it. I don’t think life is that simple, and I think her plan risks making everything worse.”

Lord Barwell, a former Downing Street chief of staff, rejected newspaper suggestions there was “fury” at speculators profiting from the fall of the pound.

“Actually, I think people are pretty furious with those who acted as cheerleaders for the Government’s policy when many, not least Rishi Sunak, warned exactly what the consequences would be,” he said.

“A little humility would be in order, rather than blaming others.”

Polling published in The Times on Monday night showed Labour with the biggest lead recorded by YouGov since 2001.

Huw Merriman, the Tory MP who chairs the House of Commons transport select committee and was a prominent ally of Mr Sunak, tweeted:

George Osborne, the former chancellor, also signalled his discontent, writing on Twitter:

He described the decision by Mr Kwarteng to commission an updated Office for Budget Responsibility forecast, scheduled for Nov 23, as “crucial to credibility”.

In a rare interview in June, Mr Osborne told LBC that Mr Sunak was the “sensible person at the heart of the Government” and defended decisions including the National Insurance rise as “necessary”.