Kwasi Kwarteng: End Of A Short Road For UK’s Finance Minister

Written by on October 14, 2022

Kwasi Kwarteng became the second shortest-serving British finance minister, paying the price for weeks of UK market tumult prompted by his controversial tax-slashing mini-budget.

His sacking represents a humiliation for the Cambridge- and Harvard-educated former Chancellor of the Exchequer — who as recently as Thursday insisted that he was “not going anywhere”.

Only Iain Macleod, who died just a month after being appointed in June 1970, has had a shorter stint in the role.

Kwarteng’s position became untenable just two weeks after he started on September 6, after the September 23 announcement of sweeping tax cuts without costings spooked currency and bond markets concerned about his mammoth spending commitments.

The Bank of England was forced to make several emergency interventions to stabilise markets in the aftermath.

Liz Truss, who only last month succeeded prime minister following the resignation of scandal-hit Boris Johnson, has already reversed one element of the plan — axing the top tax rate for high-earners.

Truss was voted in by Conservative members on a promise to cut taxes, plans that her rival Rishi Sunak, who was finance minister under Johnson, said were a recipe for disaster in the face of spiralling inflation.


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