Liz Truss turned Britain into ‘Argentina on the Channel’, former Bank of England boss says

A former governor of the Bank of England has launched a scathing attack on Liz Truss – accusing her government of turning Britain into “Argentina on the Channel”.

Mark Carney also said Brexiteers like the former Conservative leader – who stayed the shortest-serving prime minister in history when she resigned last year – had a “fundamental misunderstanding of what drives economies”.

It happened as the 58-year-old Canadian gave a speech in which he praised “progressive” policies while attacking “far-right populists”.

Carney’s mention of Argentina – which has become a byword in recent years for countries suffering from repeated economic crises – appeared to be a reference to the financial turmoil that followed mini budget prepared by Mrs Truss and her chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng last year.

Speaking at the Global Progress Action Summit in Montreal, the former bank chief hit out at the “delusional notion” that cutting taxes and government spending leads to economic growth – accusing Brexiteers of wanting to “tear down the future”.

He said: “Progressives build things that last – health care, infrastructure, schools, opportunity, sustainability and prosperity.

“Others, and there are others, have a different model. They are in the demolition business. Far-right populists see today’s anxiety as an opportunity to incite the anger necessary for their project.”

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Truss’ time as Prime Minister, a year later

Carney said populists, including Brexiteers, treated spending and tax cuts as a “Pavlovian response to every problem” that was “based in a fundamental misunderstanding of what drives economies.”

He added: “It meant that when the Brexiteers tried to create Singapore on the Thames, the Truss government instead delivered Argentina on the canal – and that was a year ago.

“Those with little experience in the private sector—lifelong politicians masquerading as free marketers—severely underestimate the importance of mission, institutions, and discipline to a strong economy.”

His comments to Truss were met with laughter – and then applause – from the audience.

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Carney, whose current roles include being vice chairman of Brookfield Asset Management, was replaced by Andrew Bailey as bank director in 2020 after he stayed on longer than expected due to concerns over potential Brexit disruptions to the economy.

Ms Truss has repeatedly defended her time in power since leaving office. She has suggested that her economic policies were not given a chance to succeed and believes they would have worked in the long term.

At an event in Westminster earlier this summer, she said was overheard comparing sluggish growth in the UK to a “boiling a frog situation”and said it had not “dramatically gone away” with her exit from Downing Street but “got worse and worse”.

Mrs Truss also said in February that she still believed measures such as significant tax cuts were “the right thing to do for Britain” as she doubled down on her economic ideology.

But also accepted that one of her most controversial measures – cutting the 45p tax rate for the country’s highest earners – was “maybe a step too far”.

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