This time honesty is the best policy from the Chancellor

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The public understands the UK is in great economic bind with no quick solution happy ending

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Ode Jeremy Hunt Well and Truly Buried the Johnsonian Era of Boosterism

Voters now know that the fairy tale mini-budgets from Kwasi Quarteng’s fairy tale mini-budgets reported less than a month ago are about to be exposed to the chilling fiscal winds.

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For too long a succession of VCs have given “budgets, financial statements and other mixed messages” “and they are all living happily ever after”.

Hunt rightly recognized that it was time for honesty – the bond markets had given him no choice.

People understand that the country is in a big bind. A hat-trick of massive economic shocks – the global financial crisis, the pandemic and the rise in energy prices triggered by the Russian invasion of Ukraine – has thrown public finances into jeopardy.

Inflation is far out of control and may cross double digits this week. Andrew Bailey has made it clear that interest rates would have to be raised substantially to rein in this.

Meanwhile, Brexit makes it harder for exporters to take advantage of a weaker pound. None of this smacks of a quick fix. We are in a multi-year slog that will be difficult for everyone, households and businesses alike.

It’s better to get that news out there today and in the months to come, rather than lashing out at voters like the child catcher in ‘Chitti Chitti Bang Bang’ with lollipop promises of bright things inspired by the timing of the election cycle.

No one wants to talk about the economy, but if the country’s leaders don’t have the courage to align with the electorate, the count will be dragged on even longer with a hard hard landing at the end of it.


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