UK finance minister cuts short IMF trip as pressure builds for another U-turn

Kwarteng on Monday sought to assuage lingering concerns by bringing forward the date of his plan to balance the government’s finances to Oct. 31.

Ian Forsyth | Getty Images News | Getty Images

LONDON — U.K. Finance Minister Kwasi Kwarteng cut short his visit to the International Monetary Fund this week, dashing back to London amid reports Prime Minister Liz Truss is considering a U-turn on parts of her government’s market-rocking tax cuts.

Kwarteng told reporters Thursday that he was returning from the U.S. ahead of schedule, without providing further details. Reuters reported, citing unnamed sources, that the finance minister planned to meet with colleagues to work on the government’s medium-term budget plan.

Earlier, Kwarteng insisted that he is “not going anywhere” and that he and Truss would “100%” still be in their jobs next month.

Kwarteng’s abrupt departure from a series of international finance meetings in Washington, D.C. comes amid a growing political backlash against the Conservative government’s proposed tax cuts.

The debt-funded measures, announced on Sept. 23 and estimated to total £43 billion ($48.7 billion), sent financial markets into a tailspin. The British pound plummeted to an all-time low against the U.S. dollar, borrowing costs rose sharply and the Bank of England was forced to intervene.

Sky News reported Thursday that discussions were underway in Downing Street over whether to reconsider some of the tax cuts that Kwarteng announced in the government’s…

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