Liz Truss: I’ll do anything I can to help struggling families
- Conservative leadership frontrunner Liz Truss vowed to ‘do all we can’
- The Foreign Secretary said she would introduce tax cuts and energy discounts
- At a Conservative hustings in Eastbourne, she warned of a ‘tough winter’ ahead
Liz Truss vowed last night to give families more help to get through the winter by holding an emergency budget in weeks if she becomes prime minister.
A package of measures will include tax cuts and a discount on energy bills. And it is understood the Foreign Secretary is examining further options.
Miss Truss admitted the country is facing a ‘tough winter’ amid dire warnings of a looming recession.
‘People need help immediately with the growing cost of living crisis,’ she said. ‘As prime minister, I’ll take decisive and swift action to give struggling families the help they need. They can trust me to deliver when times are tough.’
Conservative leadership favourite Liz Truss also vowed ‘to grow the economy and unleash all the opportunities in the economy or the post-Brexit opportunities’
Inflation is forecast to hit a 42-year high of 13.3 per cent, while the economy is expected to shrink for more than a year. On Thursday the Bank of England this week raised interest rates by the steepest amount in almost three decades in an attempt to curb soaring prices.
Experts have warned a typical gas and electricity bill will rise to £3,358 a year from October, before reaching £3,615 in the new year.
Miss Truss said the country could not carry with ‘business as usual’.
She said: ‘My view is we need to do all we can to support families during this cost of living crisis by cutting their fuel bills and by reducing their taxes.
‘But we also need to grow the economy and unleash all the opportunities in the economy or the post-Brexit opportunities… but also keeping corporation tax low to deliver that economic growth to avoid a recession.
‘What I don’t support is carrying on with the same strategy we have at the moment with business as usual when we’re facing such a serious economic situation.’
Earlier yesterday, referring to her leadership rival Rishi Sunak’s planned policies, she told a leadership hustings in Eastbourne: ‘I’m not going to make predictions… but what I know is that putting up taxes is likely to lead to lower economic growth and more chance of a recession.’
It was suggested Miss Truss would hold the budget on September 21, although her campaign team said no date had been set.
Measures would include reversing the national insurance hike introduced in April by Mr Sunak and scrapping a green levy that adds £153 to the average energy bill. Miss Truss has said investments in renewables will instead be funded in general taxation.
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, a supporter of the Truss campaign, took aim at Mr Sunak’s record yesterday, saying that putting up taxes is ‘adding insult to injury’.
But Sunak backer Liam Fox said borrowing money for tax cuts now would be taking a ‘risk’ with the economy, and warned against ‘magical solutions’.
Will Kwarteng be Liz’s Chancellor?
Kwasi Kwarteng and Simon Clarke are the frontrunners to be chancellor if Liz Truss gets into No 10.
Business Secretary Mr Kwarteng is a long-time ally of the Foreign Secretary and lives on the same street as her in Greenwich, south-east London. He has been a prominent part of her leadership campaign, regularly appearing on television and radio to speak on her behalf.
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng is one of the frontrunner to become Chancellor id Liz Truss is elected Conservative leader
Mr Clarke is Chief Secretary to the Treasury, acting as deputy to the Chancellor. Last year it was suggested that Boris Johnson had deliberately appointed Mr Clarke, who is 6ft 5in, to annoy his image-conscious then-chancellor Rishi Sunak, who is 5ft 6in.
It is understood Lord Frost would like to be chancellor, but it is unlikely he will be chosen because he is not an MP and has only limited ministerial experience.
The Tory peer, who has never been elected, served as Brexit minister for nine months before he quit the Cabinet in December last year.