Kwasi Kwarteng says government will get rid of cap on bankers' bonuses

Kwasi Kwarteng has heralded "the beginning of a new era” in the House of Commons, and he seems to have forgotten that the Tories have been in government for the past 12 years.

The biggest talking point from Friday’s mini-budget saw Kwarteng axe the higher income tax for top earners, scrap the cap on bankers’ bonuses, cut a planned increase in corporation tax on big business profits and alcohol duty and axed stamp duty.

It was announced as the Chancellor discussed his aim for the economy in the Commons, saying: “Growth is not as high as it should be.”

"This has made it harder to pay for public services requiring taxes to rise. In turn higher taxes on capital, higher taxes on labour, have lowered returns on investment and work, reducing economic incentives and hampering growth still further.

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"We are determined to break that cycle. We need a new approach for a new era.”

The comments were criticised by Labour MP Rachel Reeves, who tore into Kwarteng by saying: “Can I thank the Chancellor on his comprehensive demolition of the record of the last 12 years. Their record, their failure, their vicious circle of stagnation.”

The statement from Kwarteng on a ‘new era’ was met with laughter from opposition benches and it did not go down well with critics on social media, either.

Kwarteng began his statement to the Commons by insisting “help is coming” for people with their energy bills.

He told MPs: “People will have seen the horrors of Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine. They will have heard reports that their already-expensive energy bills could reach as high as £6,500 next year. Mr Speaker, we were never going to let this happen.”

Kwarteng added: “People need to know that help is coming. And help is indeed coming.”

He said the energy price guarantee will limit the unit price that consumers pay for electricity and gas, noting: “This means that for the next two years, the typical annual household bill will be £2,500. For a typical household, that is a saving of at least £1,000 a year, based on current prices.

“We are continuing our existing plans to give all households £400 off bills this winter. So taken together, we are cutting everyone’s energy bills by an expected £1,400 this year.”

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