Liz Truss has said that if she becomes prime minister on Tuesday, she will announce a plan to deal with rising energy costs within a week. The poll-favored Tory leadership candidate assured sources that she would “act immediately” to assist with utility costs.
But she provided a few specifics, stating that she needs more time in the office before she can make concrete proposals. Her opponent Rishi Sunak promised to prioritize the underprivileged in future distributions.
On Monday, one of the two candidates will be named the new Tory leader and the following day, he or she will take Boris Johnson’s place in Downing Street. They are under pressure to detail their plans to assist enterprises, which are exempt from the domestic pricing ceiling and safeguard families from the effects of rising utility costs.
Foreign Secretary Ms. Truss said that addressing the rising energy cost is “important” for consumers and the economy. Since the UK has grown excessively reliant on foreign energy pricing, she argued that additional help would need to go “hand in hand” with a plan to increase domestic energy sources.
In addition to the energy payments he announced as chancellor, Mr. Sunak suggested allocating those funds specifically to the low-income population and retirees. He argues that his proposed reduction in value-added tax on energy costs would benefit everyone.
He warned that the situation is “serious,” and “every tool in the kit” will be needed to deal with it. This includes the possibility of blackouts over the winter to limit supplies. “Of course we don’t want to be in that situation, but I think it’s responsible not to rule it out,” he added.
If elected, Ms. Truss has promised to reverse April’s increase to National Insurance premiums and provide about £30 billion in tax savings in an emergency Budget later this month.
When asked if the wealthy will reap more benefits from the reduction, she stated, “The folks at the top of the income distribution pay more tax — so obviously, when you cut taxes you tend to benefit individuals who are more likely to pay tax.”
However, she continued, “I think it’s inappropriate to look at everything through the prism of redistribution.” Because expanding the economy is my focus and its positive effects are seen by all.
“The economic debate for the past 20 years has been dominated by discussions about distribution. And what’s happened is we’ve had relatively low growth”. Mr. Sunak has recommended a different approach, waiting to implement permanent tax cuts until inflation has decreased before doing so.
Emily Thornberry, Labour’s shadow attorney general, called it “extraordinary” that neither candidate had provided a “specific answer” regarding their energy plans during the weeks-long leadership election.
She said that people were “desperate” for assistance and that growing costs would be a problem for individuals with moderate and low incomes.
Plans for Price Freeze
By offering subsidies to utilities to provide gas and electricity below market prices this winter, her party, the Liberal Democrats and the SNP hope to keep energy costs at a standstill.
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The Liberal Democrats have promised to introduce a bill to Parliament next week detailing their strategy. The bill will not be put to vote but may provide further information. Ms. Truss said it would be inappropriate to discuss her plans in detail before she is officially appointed therefore she would not indicate whether or not she would institute a pricing freeze.
Scottish First Minister and SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon recently spoke to Sky News, where she called on Truss to “cancel” planned energy price hikes and provide “substantial” aid to the business community.
Mr. Johnson’s replacement will be revealed on Monday at 12:30 BST and will formally be appointed by the Queen on Tuesday. Unlike in the past, the ceremony will not be held at Buckingham Palace but rather at Scotland’s Balmoral Castle.
It is believed the alteration was made due to the Queen’s mobility limitations and to avoid the need for any impromptu adjustments.
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