Kwasi Kwarteng’s secret meetings with Saudi oil firms revealed

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2022/oct/11/kwasi-kwarteng-secret-meetings-with-saudi-oil-firms-revealed-by-foi

The chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng, held undisclosed meetings with senior executives of Saudi Arabian firms when he was the business secretary, documents acquired by the Guardian show.

The meetings occurred in January, when Kwarteng visited the kingdom for a two-day trip under his previous ministerial role.

Documents released using the Freedom of Information Act (FoI) show Kwarteng held undisclosed meetings with the chief executive of Saudi Aramco, the world’s biggest oil producer; the chief executive of Sabic, the world’s fourth largest petrochemical company; and the chair of Alfanar Group, an industrial conglomerate.

However, transparency disclosures from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy did not contain any reference to meetings during the period Kwarteng was in Saudi Arabia when originally published.

I seem to remember someone saying that it’s difficult to tell politics and big oil apart …

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‘Fantastic’: What Truss’s allies said about budget that crashed UK economy

https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/liz-truss-kwasi-kwarteng-mini-budget-think-tanks/

[Kwasi Kwarteng’s ‘mini-budget’] announcements were cheered on by a group of secretive think tanks closely connected to Liz Truss and her advisers. After years of lobbying, a Conservative government had finally adopted their proposals to scrap the top rate of income tax, remove the cap on bankers’ bonuses, shelve a planned rise in corporation tax, and pledge a fresh crackdown on unions.

The Adam Smith Institute, where Truss’s political secretary Sophie Jarvis was head of government affairs, said the plans were “a welcome first step to getting the British economy back on track”.

The mood was particularly buoyant at the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), whose director general Mark Littlewood greeted the announcement by claiming: “This isn’t a trickle-down budget – it’s a boost-up budget.”

None of the think tanks discloses its funders, but the IEA has received donations from BP and ExxonMobil and, along with the Adam Smith Institute and the Centre for Policy Studies, the tobacco industry. The IEA and the Adam Smith Institute have also received millions of dollars from US funders of climate denial.

Continue Reading‘Fantastic’: What Truss’s allies said about budget that crashed UK economy

OBR forecasts likely to show £60bn-£70bn hole after Kwarteng’s mini-budget

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2022/oct/07/obr-forecasts-likely-to-show-60bn-70bn-hole-after-kwartengs-mini-budget

Kwasi Kwarteng has been handed independent forecasts on the state of the UK finances that are expected to show a hole of more than £60bn left by his sweeping tax cuts and a sharply slowing growth outlook.

Sir Charlie Bean, a ex-member of the independent watchdog and a former Bank of England deputy governor, said the document would probably show a large shortfall for the exchequer.

“It will be in the order of £60bn to £70bn relative to its previous forecasts,” he said, adding that Kwarteng would face three options: further U-turns on his tax-cutting plans, deep cuts to public spending, or risking the ire of already rattled financial markets by substantially adding to the national debt.

“What he’ll be confronted with, and I don’t think to be honest most observers and MPs have really woken up to this yet, is the extent to which the public finances has deteriorated since the spring,” Bean said.

Continue ReadingOBR forecasts likely to show £60bn-£70bn hole after Kwarteng’s mini-budget

Liz Truss pursues bonkers economic theory

Liz Truss has replaced Boris Johnson as prime minister of UK. The first obvious step intended to show the direction the new government intends was a budget presented by new Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng on Friday. Kwarteng fired the Treasury's permanent secretary in the preperation of this budget.  

There is a cost of living crisis in UK driven by runaway inflation and massive increases in energy bills. Despite this, Truss and Kwarteng's budget benefitted the already stinking rich. The top rate of income tax of 45% for the highest earners was abolished so that the highest rate is now 40%. Clearly that's going to benefit the rich and the very rich most. 

Despite denials, this is trickle-down economics with the idea being that the economy will be stimulated by the highest earners and that benefits will trickle-down to all. There is a simple, logical argument against trickle-down economics. It is that the rich already have money that they can spend to stimulate the economy and they're not doing it, if they're already not spending their wealth, why should they now start? 

There is also an alternative, logical argument that to stimulate the economy it's best to instead help the poor. The argument is that the poor are desperate and that any money they receive to alleviate their wreched situations will be spent and therefore stimulate the economy. 

It appears that Liz Truss and her Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng are pursuing outdated, discredited and abandoned economic theories which are the exact opposite to what is needed. Markets responded poorly to the budget. 

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Are we forced to have a revo?

The problem is 1. that we have been warned that the climate crisis must be addressed urgently, and 2. that governments and climate-killers e.g. big industry and the rich, are not addressing the climate crisis and there is no indication that they intend to.

It’s a serious step to attempt to usurp an elected government, elected governments in fact. To try to prevent planetary destruction is a valid and adequate reason. What do you think?

ed: Kwasi Kwarteng, some minister or other responsible for granting licences for fossil fuel exploitation even refuses to address the issues and instead repeatedly poses a strawman.

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Politicians are very slow

Kwasi Kwarteng, UK Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy dishonestly misrepresents Just Stop Oil and Extinction Rebellion’s demands. “I will launch another licensing round later this year.” and ” … we will not bend to the will of activists who naively want us to extinguish production in the UK continental shelf.” I think that means the North Sea.

The IPCC, United Nations and Just Stop Oil are calling for a stop to any new oil and gas exploitation not that North Sea oil and gas is “extinguished”. These politicians are very slow. This is just the start. We’re not going to let you destroy this planet without a fight and I’m hoping that politicians like Kwarteng and Boris Johnson will be held personally responsible for their actions. They’ve been warned told in no uncertain terms that all new fossil fuel exploitation must stop.

“extinguished”. Is that a reference to gas flaring? They really should just tell the truth instead of talking shit.

Continue ReadingPoliticians are very slow