Commenting on the appointment of Sajid Javid as the new Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Liberal Democrats Treasury & Business spokesperson Chuka Umunna said:
“By handing Sajid Javid the reigns of the economy, it is clear that Boris Johnson is choosing a Chancellor for the top 1%.
“In the Tory leadership race – where he called his new PM ‘yesterday’s news’ – Sajid Javid campaigned to give more money to the rich by scrapping the top band of income tax and to give large firms a big tax cut which business groups haven’t even been asking for. Meanwhile, middle and lower-income families continue to feel the squeeze.
“His record as Business Secretary and failure to step up to the plate when the steel industry needed him to, illustrates his reluctance to engage in the industrial activism business wants to see. Above all, he is sponsoring a policy of leaving the EU without a deal which the overwhelming majority of businesses strongly oppose. This does not bode well for our different business sectors as he takes charge at the Treasury.”
Commenting on the appointment of Liz Truss, Dominic Rabb and Priti Patel to Cabinet, Chuka said:
“It is deeply alarming that these Ministers have been appointed to the heart of government given their archaic views on British workers which represent a return to the cruel politics of the workhouse.
“People will not forget they co-wrote a book claiming that ‘once they enter the workplace, the British are among the worst idlers in the world’ and that British workers ‘need to work for longer.’
“British workers already work amongst the longest hours in Europe – instead of lecturing hard working people, they should focus on ensuring that if people put in the graft they see the rewards which is simply not the case in Britain under the Tories.”
- As a Tory leadership contender, Javid said he would consider entirely scrapping the top income tax rate (45% for earnings beyond £150,000) to make the economy more “dynamic”.
He also called in 2016 for “beginning the process of further reforming income tax – rates and bands – to make it fairer, more efficient and provide greater incentives for success.”
- Javid has called for reducing the headline rate of corporation tax from 20 per cent to 15 per cent, the lowest of any major economy.
- As Business Secretary in 2015, Javid drew up plans to close down some of his department’s 80 offices while slashing the number of quangos under its control. The 200 job losses were cast as “voluntary” and as an “exit scheme” rather than redundancies.
- As Business Secretary in 2016 he drew up plans to sack up to 40% of his department’s staff (more than 4,000 civil servants) with the aim of saving BIS £350m. This went further by £100m compared to the cuts needed to keep the department inside the Treasury’s spending controls.
- In 2016, Javid had not realised that that Tata Steel was about to sell its stake in the Port Talbot Steel plant. He was caught unaware of it on a trip to Australia where was combining Government business with a holiday and had to fly back to the UK immediately.
- Liz Truss in 2012 co-wrote the book ‘Britannia Unchained: Global Lessons for Growth and Prosperity’, along with four Conservative MPs, including the current Home and Foreign secretaries: Kwasi Kwarteng, Priti Patel (Home Secretary), Dominic Raab (Foreign Secretary) and Chris Skidmore. The treatise puts forth the authors’ economic vision and argues that Britain should adopt a radically different approach to business and economics or risk "an inevitable slide into mediocrity”.
- In the book the authors write: “Once they enter the workplace, the British are among the worst idlers in the world.” And: “There is also overwhelming evidence that we need to work for longer.”
- The five authors collectively sign the entirety of the book.