Fri 26 April 2019

Treasury minister Liz Truss met with representatives of five libertarian groups during a recent visit to Washington DC that cost taxpayers more than £5000, according to Unearthed.

Treasury minister Liz Truss met with representatives of five libertarian groups during a recent visit to Washington DC that cost taxpayers more than £5000.

Truss’ meetings

  • 17th September – Cato Institute; American Enterprise Institute
  • 18th September –  American Legislative Exchange Council   
  • 19th September –  Americans for Tax Reform – Roundtable
  • 19th September – Heritage Foundation – Regulatory Reform Roundtable

Libertarian Think tanks such as the Heritage Foundation and American Enterprise Institute are supported by the Koch brothers, two right wing billionaires involved in US energy, who aim to shrink the size of the US government and scrap environmental protections.

Political Content Removed

The Byline Times has also discovered that though Truss’ speech to the Cato Institute has reproduced on the Treasury website, politically sensitive comments of her speech have been redacted.

The former Lord Chancellor also met with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a controversial organisation that brings together corporate interests and state-level politicians to draft business-friendly legislation.

A number of businesses, including Shell, BP and ExxonMobil, have withdrawn from ALEC in recent years due to its continued attacks on efforts to tackle climate change.

Brexit and US Dark Money

Truss further attended a round table with Americans for Tax Reform, an influential campaign to slash taxes that has strong links with the UK’s TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA).

The TPA’s founder, Matthew Elliot, worked with Americans for Tax Reform early in his career before transplanting its model to the UK in 2004. Elliott was also the chief executive of the official Vote Leave campaign which was fined £61,000 by the Electoral Commission for overspending during the EU referendi, and referred to the Metropolitan Police. He founded the site Brexit Central was a fellow at the Legatum Institute.

Labour’s Shadow Treasury minister, Clive Lewis, told Unearthed that Truss’ meetings with “dark money” groups linked to the Koch brothers: “tells you, if anyone was in any doubt, what the motivations of Brexit are for the vast majority, not all, of Conservative MP’s. When they say ‘take back control’ they’re talking about taking back control for a small group of wealthy individuals.”  

“That ultimately is what Brexit is all about, Brexit is about understanding that Europe, as neoliberal as some people think it is, is actually a bulwark in many ways against deregulation and liberalisation.”

Read more at Unearthed.

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