Ross says Chancellor made the 'right decision' to U-turn on tax plans

Kwasi Kwarteng confirmed a U-turn on the Government's proposals to abolish the 45p tax rate for high earners on Monday.

Douglas Ross has said that Kwasi Kwarteng made “the right decision” to U-turn on plans to abolish the 45p tax rate for higher earners.

The Scottish Conservative leader underlined the need for politicians to “listen” and respond on policy.

It comes after a backlash over the proposals, outlined by Kwarteng in his mini-budget.

Ross spoke at the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham after the U-turn was announced on Monday.

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The MP for Moray had previously called for the Scottish Government to match the “bold plans” on tax.

“This morning, we know that the Chancellor has confirmed a change to the budget that was presented ten days ago,” said Ross.

“I think he’s made the right decision. The best part of the Government’s Growth Plan going forward remain and the area that caused most concern has gone.

“Politicians had to listen and respond and that is exactly what the Chancellor has done.”

The Scottish Conservative leader acknowledged the spending commitments set out by the Government.

However, he insisted that ministers must respond to national and international challenges.

“It’s right that helping families through the cost of living crisis has been at the forefront of the political agenda,” he said.

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“I welcome the capping of energy bills for both households and businesses announced by the Prime Minister.

“The energy cap and other measures are amongst the largest package of support delivered by the Government to families in my lifetime.

“Yes, there are major spending commitments, there is no getting away from that.

“However, we have to respond to national and international challenges and that is exactly what the Government have done.”

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon accused the UK Government of making an “utter mess” of the economy.

“The abolition of the top rate of tax wasn’t ever the costliest part of the budget package announced by the Chancellor, but it was the morally wrong thing to do,” she said.

“At a time when so many people are really struggling right now and public services are struggling, to hand a massive tax cut to the very top one, two, three percent of income earners was always wrong.

“So, it is right that that is not going ahead but that in a sense is the tip of the iceberg in terms of the utter mess that this government in just three weeks have made to the UK economy.”

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Sturgeon urged the UK Government to re-think the economic measures set out.

“I think they need to rethink the whole package,” the SNP leader told STV News.

“You know, the decisions that they took and announced in the so-called mini budget sent the economy into a downward spiral and sent the financial markets into a downward spiral that has a real impact on people across the country.”

She added: “This is a government that appears to be more interested in ideological posturing than it is in the health and the wellbeing and the financial security of people across the country.

“So, I would call on them to re-think the whole thing.”