Scottish Government requests 'urgent' meeting with chancellor Kwarteng

A letter from deputy first minister John Swinney called the UK's mini-budget a 'huge gamble'.

Scottish Government requests ‘urgent’ meeting with chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng Flickr

The Scottish Government has requested an “urgent” meeting with UK chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng after his mini-budget threw the financial markets into turmoil for days.

Ministers in the Welsh and Northern Irish devolved governments joined those in Scotland in writing to the chancellor to discuss “reversing the damaging effects of the UK Government’s tax proposals”.

The letter, from Scottish deputy first minister John Swinney, Welsh finance minister Rebecca Evans and Northern Irish finance minister Conor Murphy claims Kwarteng’s package is “a huge gamble on public finances and the health of our economy”.

The letter said: “The UK Government has chosen to make things significantly worse by announcing a huge package of tax cuts for the most wealthy without any credible explanation of how these will be paid for.

“Urgent action is required now to address the issues facing our economy, public services and households across the country.

“Such action cannot wait until the update you have announced will take place in November.”

It added: “With the crisis deepening and the prospects for the economy deteriorating by the day, it is essential that you take action to reverse the damage these policies are causing, for the benefit of all parts of the UK. We also seek an urgent quadrilateral meeting with you to discuss this further.”

Ministers have insisted the UK Government remains committed to “spending discipline” after the chancellor’s £45bn mini-budget tax cuts caused havoc in financial markets.

As Tories head to Birmingham for their annual conference, Welsh secretary Sir Robert Buckland said they were “absolutely committed” to funding their commitments amid signs ministers are preparing a major squeeze on public spending.

Earlier Liz Truss acknowledged Kwarteng’s “fiscal event” had resulted in “disruption” – with the pound slumping to a record low against the dollar and the Bank of England forced to intervene to prevent a collapse of the pensions industry.

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