Kwasi Quarting’s “shock and awe” approach to the chancellor’s position has sparked tension among officials, while raising concerns that his close relationship with the prime minister and the two most vacant civil service positions may represent a turbulent time for the Treasury.
Amid fears that the UK is teetering on the brink of recession, the aftermath of Tom Scholar’s dismissal as permanent minister has left many civil servants dreading and concerned about the leadership in the Treasury.
They said it was evidence of his willingness to imitate Les Trusswho said earlier this week that she was willing to be unpopular in order to lead through what she believed were the right changes for the country.
A Treasury official said the building was “still really angry and shocked” before The sudden departure of the researcher And it was really losing its appeal as Kwarteng thrust through a whole new economic trend and swinging tax cuts without announcing full costs.
Another said staff were “very, very upset” with the way the scientist was treated – some even saying they were “crying” and what they thought was a “shock and awe” approach to asserting control.
A third British government insider suggested the scholar could have “made a fuss” about Kwarteng making big tax changes despite the lack of evidence about costs, given that the Office for Budget Responsibility is not expected to release a forecast on Friday. . “It looks like we’re avoiding marking our homework,” sighed a Conservative MP.
The roles held by the former researcher and his former deputy, Charles Roxburgh, are still vacant. Two general managers have been selected to lead the department.
Giles Wayne, who was a private advisor to former Chancellor Philip Hammond, recalls how Courting was at the time Parliament’s private secretary – a cabinet aide who meant being “their eyes and ears” among their colleagues.
“The leadership contest has exposed a deep division within the party over fiscal policy, which has been somewhat ignored by other events,” Wen said. “The chancellor will be key to addressing this split over time – and I’m sure Kwase will be fully aware of that.”
Wayne added that keeping the gig together would be “high in the minds” of Quarting, but the affinity between him and Truss spanning many years could make life more difficult for Treasury officials.
“There should be a healthy tension between the prime minister and the chancellor,” he said. “It’s normal for the prime minister to want to spend money on things, but the chancellor needs to keep an eye on the long-term and not allow debt to balloon out of control. You need an adviser who will step back and fight that corner with the prime minister.
“Kwasi has a much closer relationship with the prime minister, and now they can just pick up the phone and have a conversation, or meet up for a drink and chat without policy officials in the room.”
A former senior Treasury official also expressed concern about the interaction between the government’s tax cuts while the Bank of England raised interest rates, amid fears the UK could fall into a recession. “There will be great concern about the strategy and where the public finances are going,” they added.
Another long-serving civil servant in the Treasury noted the elevation of the role of city secretary, who had been separated from the economy minister to the Treasury and handed over to the chancellor instead, Andrew Griffiths — cementing his job to compete for the second most famous on the ministerial team.
They said, ‘The city job given to a minister of the highest rank tells you a lot about the direction Kwasi is taking.’