After a keynote speech from Liz Truss at the Institute for Government, in which she downplayed the absolute mess she made of the UK economy and harm caused to those who pay mortgages, we asked our economics contributors to offer up their response to the failed former prime minister. 

Richard Murphy

Liz Truss’s speech at the Institute of Government was a soaring success in three ways. It showed us just how out of touch with reality she is. It demonstrated how crazy the Tories are, because they voted her as their leader. And it showed that any similar coup will be deeply dangerous for the people of this country.

Truss revealed her deep love of a form of economics that is built on the assumption that we are all automatons living on an infinite planet where global warming cannot happen.

The National: Professor Richard Murphy argues against a wealth tax

And she simultaneously revealed her contempt for the only thing she really knows anything about, which is government and what it can do for people, albeit in the right hands.

The detail of anything else is almost irrelevant. She hates us, democracy, government and anything government can do, and believes that anything that cannot be bought or sold has no value.

Truss must live a miserable, hateful existence. But at least we have been saved from it.

George Kerevan

Truss is right on one thing: British/Scottish economic growth since the 2008 banking crisis is below that of our competitors.

But that’s not because UK taxes are high – they’re higher in France which has better productivity, better pensions and a better standard of living.

The National: George Kerevan, journalist and former SNP MP for East Lothian, speaks to members from All Under One Banner at a static demonstration for Scottish independence outside the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh. PA Photo. Picture date: Monday July 20, 2020. See 

It’s what you spend public money on that counts. The incompetent Tories have wasted bundles on HS2, replacing Trident and useless Covid contracts awarded to cronies.

Truss would add to this by forcing up interest rates even higher while cutting welfare. Instead Scotland needs better mid-level tech skills and more investment in actually making things.

William Thomson, Scotonomics

We must not forget that the Scottish Government came under pressure from the media and from opposition politicians in Scotland to mirror the tax reductions included in Truss's mini-budget. The universal outcry we see today is rewriting history. 

In truth, Truss’s complaint is that the current orthodoxy that grips Westminster is not orthodox enough. The Bank of England spoke out about £45 billion in tax cuts to the wealthy but has since Truss’s budget paid out almost £100bn in interest payments to the same people. Shaking the orthodoxy has a long way to go.

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Truss was trying to accelerate the economy at the same time as the Bank of England was trying to slow it down. This was the reason the economy swerved off the road. If Truss had the personality and arrogance of Boris Johnson, she would have been able to bully the Bank of England into following her wishes.