Liz Truss has echoed the language of former US president Donald Trump as she called on her party to “make Britain grow again”.
The ex-prime minister, who was ousted from Number 10 after just 44 days following her disastrous mini-budget, made the remark when appearing at a packed out fringe event at the Conservative Party conference.
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She said her successor, Rishi Sunak, had made “some progress” in recent weeks, with the watering down of the government’s net zero targets.
But she said he and the chancellor needed to “do more” because “it’s Conservative solutions, it’s Conservative arguments that are popular with the public, but it’s also those arguments that are going to deliver”.
Queues snaked around the Midland Hotel in Manchester to get into the event, with key figures of the right in attendance – from Tory former ministers like Dame Priti Patel and Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg to former Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage.
With the discussion hosted by a GB News journalist, Ms Truss began her speech by praising the beleaguered channel, which has hit the headlines over the past week after misogynistic comments on air led to three presenters being suspended.
“In my view, we need more economic journalism and we need more GB News challenging the orthodoxy, broadcasting common sense and transforming our media landscape, so long may it continue,” she said.
Moving onto her main message, the former leader said it was up to the government to “make life easier and better for families across our land”, claiming there were three things they could do now to “really change the agenda – “axing the tax, cutting the bills and building the homes”.
With tax, Ms Truss reiterated her call to reduce corporation tax to 19% – a move she attempted in her short tenure that led to market turmoil – saying: “What we know is that economic growth and making Britain grow again is not going to be delivered by the Treasury, it’s not going to be delivered by more public spending.
“It’s going to be delivered by giving businesses the freedom they need to succeed.”
To cut bills, she revived her previous policy to drill for shale gas in the UK – despite questions over its safety and effectiveness – saying: “Some will say using our own gas is not environmentally friendly, but how environmentally friendly is it to rely on regimes abroad, who often have very poor records for our gas, to ship that gas into the United Kingdom, often at both environmental cost and financial?
“We are sitting on 50 years worth of sustainable gas. Can you imagine if we unleash that, what that would mean for households, what that would mean for businesses?”
And on building homes, Ms Truss called for a 500,000 a year target to be met, adding: “That won’t just mean people will find it easier to get into a home.
“People will find it easier to start a family because there will be more affordable housing. Employers will find it easier to employ people somewhere because their workers can afford homes.
“It will also save the government money…. because we will cut our housing benefit bill [and] we won’t need to intervene so much in the housing market because we are making the prices cheaper and that is fundamental to what these reforms should be about.”
She conceded her plans were “not necessarily easy for us to do”, but added: “We need to be prepared to do the difficult things because that is what will make Britain grow again.”