Hunt Insists Neither He Nor Treasury Briefed Sunday Times Swiss EU Deal Story

Jeremy Hunt delivered a very carefully-worded denial that he nor the Treasury was responsible for the Sunday Times’ splash that the government is hoping to cosy up to the EU with a softer Swiss-style deal. Speaking at the Treasury select committee this afternoon, he told MPs:

“With respect to the story in the Sunday Times, if you’re saying ‘Was the Treasury, was I the source of any suggestion that we should seek to renegotiate the TCA towards an agreement more like Switzerland’, the answer is no because it’s not my position and never has been. If you are saying ‘Do I believe we could remove the physical barriers to trade in the way that happens on the Franco-Swiss border, the Norway-Sweden border, maybe in a way that is relevant for the NI protocol issues on the Island of Ireland’, that has been my public position for some time.”

He later went on to imply the Sunday Times could have been mistaken on this latter point about technological solutions used on the Swiss border. A suggestion Guido reckons the Sunday Times Lobby team won’t take lying down…

mdi-timer 23 November 2022 @ 16:11 23 Nov 2022 @ 16:11 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Hancock Withdraws from Treasury Select Committee Race

Matt Hancock’s campaign for the chairmanship of the Treasury select committee has come to a premature end. Passed over by Rishi, the former Health Secretary was keen to stress he was still in play, and that “a number of people suggested I should go for Chair”. The number just wasn’t large enough…

Matt added:

“In the end there are other things on the horizon that I want to do – including finding ways to raise the profile of my dyslexia campaign and upcoming bill in parliament. Harriett’s done a great job on the committee for the last three years and she has my full support in her bid to become TSC Chair”

If you’re struggling to keep up with who’s in and who’s out, check out Guido’s handy guide.

mdi-timer 31 October 2022 @ 15:19 31 Oct 2022 @ 15:19 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Tax-Loving Think Tankers to Give “Evidence” on Kwasi’s Mini-Budget This Week

The Treasury Select Committee is set to hear ‘oral evidence’ on Kwasi’s mini-Budget this Wednesday from a panel that looks like it was dreamt up by an FBPE focus group. The Anti-Growth Coalition’s own cast of Avengers…

The Institute for (Big) Government, the Institute for Fiscal Studies and the Resolution Foundation are all sending their star performers to the show. No prizes for what Torsten Bell or Paul Johnson will have to say about a plan that actually supports tax cuts…

mdi-timer 10 October 2022 @ 15:10 10 Oct 2022 @ 15:10 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Labour MP Compares Sunak’s Low Growth, High Tax Economy to Ted Heath

It was a Labour MP who provided the stand-out moment from Rishi’s Treasury select committee appearance yesterday. Siobhain McDonagh demanded Rishi name a proper tax cut he’d made:

“…it’s not a tax cut, that’s a benefit change. It’s not a tax cut. It’s a change in the taper rate to Universal Credit…you’re just desperate to find a tax cut. We’re sitting in the Margaret Thatcher room, and you hope to emulate her, but the British Prime Minister and British Tory government that you are most emulating at the moment is Ted Heath’s: low growth, and therefore high tax. Is that not the case.”

Rishi responded by saying the UK is forecast to grow at an historically high level next year, which is true, although it’s then to decline back below 2% from 2023. It shouldn’t take a Labour MP to be pointing this stuff out.

mdi-timer 2 November 2021 @ 10:50 2 Nov 2021 @ 10:50 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Siobhain McDonagh Hypes Up her Social Media

Guido can’t blame MPs for turning to Twitter during dull select committee hearings, though the perils of Zoom saw Labour MP Siobhain McDonagh interrupt this afternoon’s Treasury Committee hearing to proclaim to someone in the room with her, “Oh Margaret, I’ve done a Tweet I’m proud of!”. The Tweet in question?

Guido’s not sure 20 likes is worth getting too hyped up about…

mdi-timer 6 January 2021 @ 15:40 6 Jan 2021 @ 15:40 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments