Lies, Falsehoods and Misrepresentations from Boris Johnson to Rishi Sunak

‎”Fiscal event”

The label given by the Truss government to the mini-budget.

Facts

Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng’s “fiscal event” contained dramatic tax and spending changes of the kind that have always been regarded as part of a budget. But acknowledging the announcement as a budget would have brought with it constraints. 

Any budget statement is by convention accompanied by several days of parliamentary debate, during which it can be scrutinised in detail by MPs in the Commons chamber. Even more important, a budget would have to be accompanied by fiscal analysis from the Office of Budget Responsibility, the independent body tasked with costing the consequences of budget decisions. 

By calling the announcement a “fiscal event” Truss and Kwarteng avoided these two outcomes.

Verdict

Truss and Kwarteng evaded institutional barriers to their economic plans with an act of deceit which involved relabelling one of the most significant budgets of modern times as a “fiscal event”

This low tactic was all too reminiscent of the dishonest method used by the Johnson government to give credibility to its notorious claim to be building 40 (or sometimes 48) new hospitals. The Johnson government resorted to clever language to change the meaning of the term “new hospital” as we set out here

We emailed Liz Truss’ office, Kwasi Kwarteng’s office and HM Treasury offering them the chance to respond. The email was received by Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwateng, but no reply. 

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