KWASI Kwarteng has ordered his Treasury officials to be “totally focused on growth” as he prepares for next week’s emergency mini-budget to tackle the cost-of-living crisis.

The chancellor told staff on a conference call that he wanted to prioritize returning to a growth rate of 2.5 percent a year, despite forecasts of an imminent recession.

According to the Financial Times, Mr Kwarteng also assured staff he had no plans to overhaul the Treasury after sacking its top official on his first day on the job.

Permanent secretary Tom Sholar was suspended for being part of the “Orthodox Treasury” that Liz Truss repeatedly attacked in her Tory leadership campaign.

Mr Kwarteng is reported to have praised Sir Tom’s results and said the Treasury had been “excellent finance ministry,” but also indicated a change in direction from that of his predecessor after Rishi Sunak.

“He said things need to be done differently under the new leadership,” one official told the Financial Times.

The UK government is set to hold an emergency budget next week amid a sharp rise in inflation caused by the war in Ukraine.

The “financial event” is expected on Thursday or Friday before the House of Commons recesses for the party conference season.

The Prime Minister uses the term “financial event” rather than the budget because the budget requires the independent Office for Budget Responsibility to review the figures.

Ms Truss promised during the Tory leadership race that she would cut taxes by £30 billion if she won, and now is the time to do it.

She and Mr Kwarteng are expected to use the announcement to scrap April’s 1.25% rise in national insurance and scrap next year’s 19-25% rise in corporation tax.

The pair are also under pressure to explain in much more detail how their £100bn plan to cap domestic electricity bills by an average of £2,500 over two years will work.

Businesses are also looking for more information on vague promises to help them cope with soaring electricity bills, which are currently uncapped.

The chairman of the Night Time Industries Association has warned that seven out of 10 pubs could close this winter without government help due to spiraling bills.

Sacha Lord said: “I think we’re entering probably the most critical week for my industry in my lifetime. My phone is hot, and people are exhausted.”

Mr. Lord, which is also night time economy councilor for Greater Manchester, said businesses were already running “on a daily basis” and were “sitting in limbo” ahead of next week’s mini-budget.

Ms Truss outlined the energy plan last Thursday, but it was immediately shelved after the Queen’s death.

In his conference call, Mr Kwarteng said that if the UK could return to a GDP growth rate of 2.5%, it would make it easier to reduce the deficit in the long term.

However, the pace has not been the same since the global financial crash of 2008-2009, and most chancellors have found it much easier to talk about growth than to deliver it.

Artificially boosting the economy to create a pre-election boom could also worsen inflation, which is already at 10.1% and is expected to rise even higher today.

Former Chancellor of the Exchequer Lord Agnew, who resigned in January over the ‘dismal’ failure business The Department for Combating Covid-19 Fraud today wrote in the Times that the removal of Sir Tom Scholar as permanent Chancellor of the Exchequer “should be cause for celebration”.

He wrote: “Working in his department for almost two years, I saw with my own eyes the pernicious influence of the orthodoxy of the Ministry of Finance.

“Whether it was dragging and passively resisting the creation of a Treasury office in the north (Darlington), which he vehemently opposed, or the failed arrangements in the construction of loan recovery during the pandemic, all roads led to him. It’s not surprising to hear cries of horror at his dismissal from the echo chamber of former mandarins, because that’s basically what they are: a metropolitan elite with their own self-reinforcing prejudices.’

He called on Ms Truss to take responsibility for diverting growth from the Treasury because it “has no idea how to do it”.

He said: “The system is fixated on measuring inputs, counting money distributed across departments, but has little idea how to measure outcomes.

“Departments manage money in an infantile manner, and savings are automatically returned to the center.

“It certainly removes any incentive to think innovatively, creatively or cost-effectively.”

SNP Deputy First Minister John Sweeney said he would hold an emergency review of his budget based on the UK version, with “tough choices” likely.

Last week he announced £500m of spending cuts to deal with double-digit inflation eroding Holyrood’s 2022/23 budget, as well as a £700m public sector pay rise.

Mr Sweeney, who is acting Chancellor of the Exchequer while Kate Forbes is on maternity leave, also warned of more “tough choices” when the UK figures are released.

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