The levelling up secretary has described the suggestion that the chancellor’s mini-budget will be “trickle-down economics” as leftwing “nonsense”.
Simon Clarke made the comments before a tax-cutting budget to be announced on Friday.
The rightwing economic theory that cutting taxes for businesses and high earners will enable benefits to “trickle down” into the pockets of the poorest has become a political football this week as the prime minister pushes through tax cuts.
Although it has been labelled a “mini” budget, Friday’s announcements are expected to be far-reaching. Despite this, the plans have not been subjected to the usual Office for Budget Responsibility analysis.
When asked about this, Clarke said the OBR had said it was too short notice for it to complete “the usual quality of analysis that they would offer”. He later implied it had not been asked to do it, by saying: “They will be asked to conduct that modelling alongside subsequent events later in this financial year.”
The latest swipe at “trickle-down economics” comes after the US president, Joe Biden, said in the run-up his first bilateral talks with Liz Truss in New York earlier this week that he was “sick and tired” of the policy and that it had “never worked”.
Clarke said on Sky News shortly before the budget on Friday morning: “This whole term trickle-down is such a nonsense and is itself a centre-left mischaracterisation of what this government is all about. We need to grow the economy because a more successful economy is good for everybody.”
The levelling up secretary said he wanted to see growth return to levels before the 2008 crash and that Friday’s announcements would go much further than the much-trailed scrapping of the national insurance rise.
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