Kwasi Kwarteng delivers speech at Tory Party conference
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Prime Minister Liz Truss and Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng shared their plans to reverse the abolition of the 45 percent income tax rate on Monday, to widespread condemnation in the press and from protestors at the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham. But now, a new poll of Express.co.uk readers has found reader support for Mr Truss and Mr Kwarteng, with voters saying the Government was right to U-turn on the tax cut policy.
Mr Kwarteng announced the move to remove the higher tax rate for earners over £150,000 in his mini-budget on September 23, and faced criticism for the decision.
He said in a statement on Twitter on Monday that “it is clear that the abolition of the 45p tax rate has become a distraction from our overriding mission to tackle the challenges facing our country”.
He added: “As a result, I am announcing we are not proceeding with the abolition of the 45p tax rate. We get it, and we have listened.”
In response, Express.co.uk ran a poll from 9am on Monday, October 3, to 7am on October 4, asking readers: “Are Truss and Kwarteng right to U-turn on tax cut policy?”
Overall, 3,307 votes were cast with the majority, 65 percent (2,159 people) answering “yes”, the U-turn was the right decision.
Whereas 34 percent (1,119 people) said “no”, the policy should remain and a further one percent (29 people) said they did not know.
Hundreds of comments were left below the accompanying article as readers debated Ms Truss and Mr Kwarteng’s U-turn.
Many readers argued that reversing the tax cut policy was the right move with username Helms Deep writing: “We are all human and make mistakes, it takes guts to admit it and put it right.”
Username As above said: “Changing one’s mind is part of everyday life, what is important is once you’ve acted wash your hands of the matter and get on with It.”
While username Angloscot7 said: “It’s refreshing to see the Government actually listening to feedback. Nothing wrong with U-turns. Wish it happened more often!”
Other readers suggested that the policy should not have been implemented in the first place as it was not the right time for it.
Username Beanyboy2802 said: “Of course, they should have reversed it. Irrespective of the economic argument for it this was absolutely not the right time for it.”
Username The Butler Did It said: “They are right to make the U-turn but they should never have got themselves into this position in the first place.
“They were warned that it would be a PR and economic disaster but they ploughed on with the policy regardless.”
And username rjh500 wrote: “Right to U-turn common sense, wrong to do it in the first place.”
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However, some readers commented that they should have carried out the policy regardless, with username Beehive writing: “Truss has her policy for the future, and should stick to it.”
Username uncivilservant said: “No, it may or may not have been the right policy at the right time but having gone for it they should have stuck with it.”
And username Zado said: “Right strategy, wrong time and woeful communication on all fronts.”
The U-turn also sparked criticism from Liberal Democrats leader Sir Ed Davey, who said that the U-turn was “humiliating”.
He said: “This humiliating U-turn comes too late for the millions seeing their mortgage rates soar because of this botched budget.
“The Conservatives must now cancel their conference and recall Parliament, to sort out this mess for the sake of the country.”
Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves was also critical of the decision claiming it was “too late” for many families.
She said: “The Prime Minister has been forced to abandon her unfunded tax cut for the richest one per cent – but it comes too late for the families who will pay higher mortgages and higher prices for years to come.
She continued: “The Tories have destroyed their economic credibility and damaged trust in the British economy.”
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