Top Tory says Truss must be transparent over budget plans so ministers not 'flying blind'

22 August 2022, 09:42

Tory MP hits out at Liz Truss' tax plans

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

Liz Truss' plans for an emergency budget need to be transparent and affordable so ministers are not "flying blind", a senior Conservative MP has said.

Rishi Sunak has accused Liz Truss of wanting to avoid independent scrutiny of an emergency budget she's planning - if she becomes Prime Minister.

Treasury Committee chairman Mel Stride's comments came after suggestions that Ms Truss' emergency budget, if elected prime minister, would not be scrutinised by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR).

Mr Stride, a Rishi Sunak supporter, told LBC: "At the moment the Liz camp are saying I believe that there will not be any OBR forecast produced at that time and that is kind of like flying blind.

"It means that you do all these dramatic things on tax etcetera but you don't actually know what the independent forecaster believes the impact will be on the public finances and I think that is quite a serious situation were that to come about."

Asked if OBR scrutiny would be bureaucratic in a time of crisis, Mr Stride said: "No. We are asking for transparency and reassurance that whatever whoever wins this contest comes forward with is affordable and not reckless."

It comes after Tory leadership frontrunner Liz Truss has said there is "too much talk that there's going to be a recession" as she insisted an economic slump is not inevitable.

The Foreign Secretary suggested a "level of ambition" was needed to "change the orthodoxy" and avoid the outcome forecast by the Bank of England.

She was speaking after Conservative heavyweight Michael Gove warned that she was on a "holiday from reality" with her tax vision as he endorsed her rival Rishi Sunak.

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