LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's Liz Truss said economic strength in democracies could help push back authoritarianism, in her first international speech as prime minister on Wednesday, also defending her plans for economic reform as a boost to the free world.
Truss is in New York for the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), which she addressed late on Wednesday, calling for like-minded nations to combat authoritarianism together.
As well as securing energy independence from Russia in the wake of its invasion of Ukraine, Truss highlighted how her own plans for lower taxes in Britain - for individuals and corporations - were aimed at winning a "new era of strategic competition."
"We want people to keep more of the money they earn, so they can have more control of their own lives and contribute to the future," Truss told the annual gathering of world leaders.
"We're reforming our economy to get Britain moving and we want to work with our allies so we can all move forward together," she said. "The free world needs this economic strength and resilience to push back against authoritarian aggression and win this new era of strategic competition."Truss, a conservative who wants to lower taxes and have fewer regulations, on Tuesday said she was prepared to push ahead with the plans even if they were unpopular. Some critics drew a contrast to U.S. President Joe Biden, who said he was "sick and tired of trickle-down economics."
One of Truss's junior ministers earlier on Wednesday denied what the government was doing amounted to trickle-down economics.
(Reporting by Alistair Smout and William James; additional reporting by Michelle Nichols; editing by Grant McCool)