Liz Truss to blame 'woke culture' for high taxes and warn of 'threat' from authoritarian regimes

Liz Truss will deliver a speech to a think tank in Washington DC Credit: PA

Liz Truss is expected to blame "woke culture" for a high-tax economy and question if western countries are "match fit to take on China" in a speech to an American think tank today.

The former prime minister, who was forced out of office after 49 days, will deliver the Margaret Thatcher Freedom lecture at the right-wing Heritage Foundation in Washington DC on Wednesday.

Ms Truss is expected to ask whether western economies are "match fit to take on China" and "the whole concept of state capitalism" while continuing her advocacy for a low tax economy as she continues to forge a return to the political limelight.

Britain's shortest-serving prime minister lasted in No. 10 for just six weeks, after a disastrous mini-budget featuring £45 billion of unfunded tax cuts led to economic turmoil.

But in her US speech, the Conservative backbencher will continue to push her political values, arguing that "stagnation, redistributionism and woke culture" have been "taking hold in businesses and the economy in the UK and the US", resulting in "more tax, more subsidies, more regulation."

She will use the platform in DC to express concern that the 1980s "Anglo-American" economic model of low taxes, increased privatisation and limited government is being "strangled into stagnation".

“It was Anglo-American individualism that made the world prosperous... Low taxes, limited government and private enterprise were what won the Cold War. I worry that we are now seeing this model strangled into stagnation," she will say. “At the turn of the millennium the state was spending 29% and 36% of national income in the US and UK respectively. Today, those figures are 35% and 47%.”

“We have seen low growth for decades… Real incomes haven’t increased significantly since the financial crisis. In fact, the average GDP per capita in the UK is nearly 30% lower than it is in the United States.

"The symptoms are low growth, rising living costs and declining value of wages. The disease is ever larger government. And we have to ask ourselves: are we still match fit to take on China and to take on the whole concept of state capitalism?"

The former prime minister leaves her house in south-east London Credit: PA

The speech will also call on the UK and the US to better promote "free markets" and "free speech" in the face of the "threat" from authoritarian regimes.

Referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin's "unprovoked attack on a free and democratic neighbour," Ukraine, Ms Truss will criticise Western leaders for visiting the Chinese president Xi Jinping, in what she is expected to call "a sign of weakness".

The comments will come just a week after French president Emmanuel Macron met with the Chinese leader and asked him to use China's influence with Putin to end the war with Ukraine.

Ms Truss will say: "Our energies should go into taking more measures to support Taiwan. We need to make sure Taiwan is able to defend itself. We need to put economic pressure on China before it is too late."

She will also warn: "We need to get real about the threat from authoritarian regimes and their unwitting allies in the anti-growth movement. We need to get organised about taking it on. And we need to fight the battle of ideas once again.”

The former PM, who beat Rishi Sunak in last year's Tory leadership contest, will conclude by saying she cares "too much about this agenda to walk away", hinting that her comeback is just getting started.

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