Support our Nation today - please donate here

Truss puts cost-of-living plan on hold until Tory leadership election concludes

30 Aug 2022 5 minute read
Liz Truss during a hustings event in Norwich. Photo Joe Giddens PA Images

Liz Truss’s camp says she will not finalise her plans for crucial cost-of-living support before receiving the “full support and advice” only available to the government of the day.

The public will likely be forced to wait to find out what help they will get with skyrocketing energy bills until Ms Truss is expected to replace Boris Johnson in Downing Street next week.

The Tory leadership frontrunner has been accused by Labour of causing families “unnecessary worry” with her “flip-flopping” on potential measures to deal with the cost-of-living crisis.

Her campaign, which is under growing pressure to detail how she would help households this winter, said that meetings offered with Government officials to prepare for a possible transition do not cover all the information needed for Ms Truss to make an informed decision.

A campaign source said: “Liz and her team are working to ensure that they are able to hit the ground running if she is elected Prime Minister.

“Access meetings with the Cabinet Secretary have been offered to provide limited briefings to help prepare for forming an administration.

“But addressing the cost of living crisis will rightly require the full support and advice that is only available to the government of the day.”

Targeted support

Over the weekend, the Foreign Secretary’s team said she is leaning towards targeted support over help for all, but maintained she is not “ruling anything out”, while it was also reported she is considering slashing VAT by 5% across the board.

Labour condemned the contradictory statements and accused Ms Truss and her rival Rishi Sunak of lacking plans to deal with soaring prices.

Shadow chief secretary to the Treasury Pat McFadden said: “This flip-flopping by Liz Truss, floating one policy idea after another, is causing the country unnecessary worry about their bills”.

Ms Truss pulled out of an interview with veteran political journalist Nick Robinson which was due to air on the BBC on Tuesday, in which she was expected to have been pressed on her support plan.

Robinson said he was “disappointed and frustrated” by Ms Truss’s cancellation as she also faced accusations of dodging scrutiny.

A source from Mr Sunak’s team said: “Avoiding that scrutiny suggests either Truss doesn’t have a plan at all or the plan she has falls far short of the challenges we face this winter.”

Calls for the incoming prime minister to address rising costs are becoming increasingly urgent, with school leaders warning that without more funding children’s education would be damaged due to redundancies, larger classes and cuts to the curriculum.

Former Tory education secretary Kenneth Baker told The Guardian: “Some schools are bound to go in the red…

“We’re heading into a really ghastly two-year period and it’s going to require remarkable leadership to come out of this smiling”.

Dire winter

The Government has been accused of being missing in action amid resounding warnings that people are facing a dire winter.

Critics have pointed to the contrast with emergency measures being taken by European governments to deal with soaring energy bills.

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Monday pledged to reform the European electricity market to help curb prices for customers.

Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi has insisted he has been working tirelessly to come up with proposals for either Tory leadership candidate for more cost-of-living support.

He is travelling to the United States this week to seek cooperation on tackling the crisis with top bankers and US government officials, saying: “These global pressures must be overcome through global efforts”.

James Murray, Labour’s shadow financial secretary to the Treasury, said: “Rather than going on another junket at the taxpayers’ expense, the Chancellor should start listening to people here at home and implementing Labour’s fully funded plan to freeze energy bills”.

Regulator Ofgem warned the Government last week that it must act urgently to “match the scale of the crisis we have before us” as Britain faced the bleak news that the average household’s yearly bill will rise 80% in October from £1,971 to £3,549.

Energy shortages

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, who is likely to be appointed Chancellor if Ms Truss enters No 10, and Brexit opportunities minister Jacob Rees-Mogg have been holding talks with oil and gas giants to secure energy supplies amid fears of shortages this winter, according to The Times.

The newspaper reported Ms Truss would invite applications for drilling licences to explore new fields in the North Sea if she becomes prime minister, and push oil and gas firms to invest in their existing sites to maximise production.

Mr Rees-Mogg has been tipped for the position of Ms Truss’s business secretary, though her camp insisted his meetings with oil and gas companies were set up by civil servants and not linked to her campaign.

The Cabinet Office was contacted for comment on the capacity in which Mr Rees-Mogg held the talks.

Ms Truss and Mr Sunak will go head-to-head again in the final official hustings of the Tory leadership race on Wednesday.

The ballot of Conservative Party members closes on Friday, with the winner to be announced next Monday.

Support our Nation today

For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.

Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Cathy Jones
Cathy Jones
1 year ago

Whenever she came across an item in a shop that had no price on it my paternal grandmother would say ” ‘ark at this our Cathy, it’s so expensive them’er too scared to put the price on it”… Her wisdom and her wisdom and wit are things I greatly miss, they are also two of the many things that Liz Truss does not possess….and also… when my Nan died, the church was full of people from all across Kingstanding and Birmingham to mourn the passing of a well-loved member of the community. There were people outside in the drizzle who… Read more »

One of the two witnesses
One of the two witnesses
1 year ago
Reply to  Cathy Jones

It’ll be nice to have a new grave to p*** on! I’ll have to drink a lot more to get around all the Tory Tea Party graves recently added to the list

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 year ago

Every picture tells a story…a horror story in this case…oh dear, good luck everybody…

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 year ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

In the game of charades what does that photo tell us…

1 year ago

She has taken the Boris approach to campaigning, promise everything to everyone, and I predict a similar outcome to her stint in charge as we had with the great buffoon Boris.

One of the two witnesses
One of the two witnesses
1 year ago

“I’ve got a brilliant plan for you, but you’ll have to vote for me if you want to know what it is!”
THIS is one of the two awful choices? Heaven help us because we can no longer help ourselves

Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
1 year ago

One must surely be hugely encouraged that the Chancellor is busy talking to US bankers and the like presumably about financing the selling of the NHS if it collapses or perhaps the many other UK firms at risk of collapse from this energy crisis. Of course it could be that he has been talking about possible directorships in case the election does not go the way he expected. Rees-Mogg talking to the oil and gas firms, presumably about the level of bungs required to ensure that they continue to supply the UK with oil and gas, must clearly be something… Read more »

Our Supporters

All information provided to Nation.Cymru will be handled sensitively and within the boundaries of the Data Protection Act 2018.