Liz Truss vows to help Britain recover from financial slump and emerge even stronger

Liz Truss said last night it was time to stop talking Britain down as she vowed the country will come out of the cost of living crisis even stronger than before.

The Foreign Secretary, who is widely expected to be announced as the new Tory leader this afternoon, promised to unveil a plan to help millions of families with soaring energy bills in her first week as prime minister.

It is understood the mammoth package of support could be worth more than £100 billion – putting it on the same scale as the Covid furlough scheme.

Among the options being considered is a freeze on energy bills for both families and businesses.

The Foreign Secretary, who is widely expected to be announced as the new Tory leader this afternoon, promised to unveil a plan to help millions of families with soaring energy bills in her first week as prime minister

The Foreign Secretary, who is widely expected to be announced as the new Tory leader this afternoon, promised to unveil a plan to help millions of families with soaring energy bills in her first week as prime minister

Miss Truss last night pledged ‘rapid action’ to get households through the winter and tackle the ‘root cause’ of the crisis.

‘I have a bold plan to see Britain through difficult times and get us out the other side stronger,’ she told the Daily Mail. ‘If I am elected prime minister, I will work tirelessly to deliver for the people of Britain.’

She insisted she will ‘not let anyone talk this great country down’.

‘I will do everything in my power to make sure everyone, no matter where they are from, has the opportunity to go as far as their talent and hard work takes them.’

At 12.30pm today, bookies’ favourite Miss Truss will find out if she has defeated Rishi Sunak when the result of the leadership contest is revealed in Westminster.

Miss Truss yesterday promised to act ‘immediately’ to tackle the energy crisis, but would not offer any details of the support struggling households can expect.

The Foreign Secretary, who denied she was being ‘coy’, said she wanted to reassure voters that help is coming but indicated they would need to wait for a few days to find out exactly what the support might look like.

Miss Truss last night pledged ‘rapid action’ to get households through the winter and tackle the ‘root cause’ of the crisis. ‘I have a bold plan to see Britain through difficult times and get us out the other side stronger,’ she told the Daily Mail

Miss Truss last night pledged ‘rapid action’ to get households through the winter and tackle the ‘root cause’ of the crisis. ‘I have a bold plan to see Britain through difficult times and get us out the other side stronger,’ she told the Daily Mail

In an interview with the BBC’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg programme, Miss Truss said: ‘I will act if I’m elected as prime minister. I will act immediately on bills and on energy supply because I think those two things go hand in hand.’

Miss Truss appeared to brush off dire warnings about the future as she insisted the country had ‘been through worse’.

Miss Kuenssberg also grilled Miss Truss on the Bank of England, the NHS, and comparisons with Margaret Thatcher. Here, we look at the views of the politician who is expected to become the country’s 56th prime minister tomorrow.

WE’RE NOT FACING ARMAGEDDON

Miss Truss admitted she faced a ‘difficult’ in-tray packed with tricky issues if she wins the keys to No 10, but warned against predictions of an ‘Armageddon scenario’.

She said: ‘I think we face some very, very serious challenges. We have the appalling war in Ukraine, perpetrated by Putin. We still have the aftermath of Covid, which was a massive economic shock, and we’re also facing a severe energy crisis as well. I’m under no illusions about how difficult it is.

‘But as a country we have faced tough challenges before, and we’ve got through those challenges, and I’m absolutely confident we have the wherewithal, the ability, to be able to deal with these challenges.

‘I don’t think, you know, we should be predicting a sort of Armageddon scenario. I think we are in a good position to deal with what are very tough challenges.’

I’LL TACKLE ENERGY CRISIS IMMEDIATELY

Families and businesses will be told what help they can expect with their energy bills during Miss Truss’s first week as prime minister, she promised yesterday. Wider plans for the economy, including tax cuts, will follow in a Budget or financial statement within the first month.

Miss Truss said she understood ‘people are worried’ and she wanted to ‘reassure’ them, but she declined to give details.

‘I will act if elected as prime minister, within one week,’ she said. ‘What I can’t do… is tell you exactly what that announcement would be… Before you have been elected as prime minister you don’t have all the wherewithal to get the things done. So, this is why it will take a week to sort out, you know, the precise plans and make sure we are able announce them.

‘But what I want to be very clear about with the public is I understand that this is a huge problem. And I understand people are worried and I want to reassure people that I am absolutely determined to sort out this issue.’

Miss Truss declined to say if she would adopt Labour’s plan to freeze the energy price cap.

Families and businesses will be told what help they can expect with their energy bills during Miss Truss’s first week as prime minister, she promised yesterday

Families and businesses will be told what help they can expect with their energy bills during Miss Truss’s first week as prime minister, she promised yesterday

REVERSING NATIONAL INSURANCE HIKE ‘FAIR’

Miss Truss insisted her plan to reverse the rise in national insurance was ‘fair’ despite it benefiting most higher earners. The Foreign Secretary said ‘growing the economy benefits everybody’ and it is ‘wrong’ to look at everything through the ‘lens of redistribution’.

Miss Kuenssberg put it to her that reversing the national insurance rise, which was introduced in April, would see the poorest stand to gain about £7 while the wealthiest could gain nearly £2,000.

Asked if that was fair, Miss Truss said: ‘The people at the top of the income distribution pay more tax. So inevitably when you cut taxes you tend to benefit people who are more likely to pay tax. Of course, there are some people who don’t pay tax at all.

‘But to look at everything through the lens of redistribution, I believe, is wrong because what I am about is about growing the economy. And growing the economy benefits everybody.’

She added: ‘So far, the economic debate for the past 20 years has been dominated by discussions about distribution, and what’s happened is we have had relatively low growth.’

Challenged again on whether the cut would be fair, Miss Truss said: ‘Yes, it is fair. We promised in our manifesto that we would not raise national insurance.

‘I opposed the decision to raise it in Cabinet because it was the wrong decision.’

Miss Truss said she did not resign over the initial policy to increase national insurance because she preferred to stay ‘and fight my corner, because I’m not somebody who quits – I’m somebody who gets the job done’.

BANK OF ENGLAND WILL REMAIN INDEPENDENT

The Bank of England will retain its interest rate-setting powers, even though Miss Truss has promised to look at other systems around the world when assessing whether it has the correct mandate.

She said yesterday: ‘I’m a great believer in the independence of the Bank of England. We need to allow the Bank of England to do that job.

‘I think it was about three decades ago we stopped politicians making decisions about interest rates. So, I’m not going to start saying what interest rates the Bank of England should be.’

Pushed again, she said: ‘I think it would be completely wrong for me as a politician to say what I wanted interest rates to be and to countermand the Bank of England.’

The Bank of England will retain its interest rate-setting powers, even though Miss Truss has promised to look at other systems around the world when assessing whether it has the correct mandate

The Bank of England will retain its interest rate-setting powers, even though Miss Truss has promised to look at other systems around the world when assessing whether it has the correct mandate

HUGE NHS FUNDING IS SUSTAINABLE

Miss Truss said she was committed to the current NHS budget and her priorities would be primary care and GP appointments.

When Miss Kuenssberg said that by the next election the NHS will make up more than 40 per cent of day-to-day spending and asked if that can continue, she said: ‘I’m completely committed to the budget we’ve set out for the National Health Service, but we do face real issues on the ground.

‘Difficulty in getting GP appointments, difficulty in getting an NHS dentist, waiting times for ambulances are far too long. So, what I would do is appoint a health secretary who can tackle those issues.’

Asked if the funding was sustainable, Miss Truss said: ‘Well, I think it is a priority for the public and it’s a priority for me to make sure we’re delivering for people.’

Pushed on whether people will get the care they are waiting for, she added: ‘Yes. And what I would ask my health secretary to do is set out a clear plan of how we’re going to achieve that. But I think one of my key priorities would be primary care and GP appointments.’

Miss Truss said she was committed to the current NHS budget and her priorities would be primary care and GP appointments

Miss Truss said she was committed to the current NHS budget and her priorities would be primary care and GP appointments

WHAT YOU SEE IS WHAT YOU GET

Rejecting suggestions of a need for a major shift in presentation from leadership candidate to prime minister, Miss Truss described her style as a politician as ‘what you see is what you get’. 

The leadership contender has faced repeated accusations that she is attempting to copy Margaret Thatcher.

Asked about how she will avoid the same fate as Boris Johnson, Miss Truss said: ‘I will be clear with the public about what we are going to face and there will be challenging circumstances, there’ll be difficult decisions to be made.

‘Not all of those decisions will be popular but I will be honest about what we will have to do.

‘I’m also somebody who is positive. And I’m clear that we can deal with these issues, that Britain has been through worse, frankly, in the past. We have the capability, we have the attitude, and we have the spirit to deal with the challenges.’

The leadership contender has faced repeated accusations that she is attempting to copy Margaret Thatcher

The leadership contender has faced repeated accusations that she is attempting to copy Margaret Thatcher

Kwasi Kwarteng

Kwasi Kwarteng

Suella Braverman

Suella Braverman

Team Liz: Who will be key players?

These are the senior Tories expected to form the core of Liz Truss’s first Cabinet.

Kwasi Kwarteng

The Business Secretary is likely to be promoted to Chancellor and have the huge task of keeping the economy afloat and helping households through the cost of living squeeze. 

He will replace Nadhim Zahawi, who could move to the Cabinet Office after just two months at the helm of the Treasury. 

James Cleverly

James Cleverly

Therese Coffey

Therese Coffey

Ben Wallace

Ben Wallace

Jacob Rees-Mogg

Jacob Rees-Mogg

Brandon Lewis

Brandon Lewis

Simon Clarke

Simon Clarke 

Mr Kwarteng’s first actions will include reversing the national insurance increase and scrapping a planned rise in corporation tax.

Suella Braverman

She stood against Miss Truss in the leadership contest but her anti-woke stance and opposition to the European Convention on Human Rights is set to see her promoted from Attorney General to Home Secretary. 

Her main task will be to crack down on Channel crossings by illegal migrants and to make sure those who do reach England are deported to Rwanda, which current Home Secretary Priti Patel has failed to do.

James Cleverly

An early backer of Miss Truss’s candidacy, the Education Secretary is expected to be handed her current role of Foreign Secretary. 

The pair have worked together in the Foreign Office, where he was a junior minister, over the past year and he will keep up her strong support for Ukraine and sanctions on Russia.

Therese Coffey

The Work and Pensions Secretary is a fellow member of the 2010 parliamentary intake whose Suffolk Coastal constituency neighbours Miss Truss’s South West Norfolk seat, and they have long been allies. 

The new Prime Minister is expected to make her friend Health Secretary, taking over from Steve Barclay who has made little impression during just a few weeks in the role. 

She will have to tackle the huge waiting lists that have built up since Covid struck as well as the long delays for ambulances that patients are having to endure.

Ben Wallace

The Defence Secretary is one of the few members of Boris Johnson’s final Cabinet expected to stay in their current role. 

He had been tipped to run for party leader but said his focus was ‘my current job and keeping this great country safe’. 

Miss Truss has pledged to increase defence spending to 3 per cent of GDP.

Jacob Rees-Mogg

Founder of the investment fund Somerset Holdings, his experience is expected to be put to use as the new Business Secretary. 

His focus in the Cabinet Office has been on making the most of Brexit and getting civil servants back into the office, but his new role will include increasing investment in local energy production and tackling soaring prices.

Brandon Lewis

Like Miss Truss, he has been a Norfolk MP since 2010 – but he backed Nadhim Zahawi for the leadership at first. 

Mr Lewis, Northern Ireland Secretary for two years, could get his biggest role to date as Justice Secretary. 

He would replace Dominic Raab, who is certain to return to the backbenches, and would have to handle the barristers’ strike.

Simon Clarke

As Chief Secretary to the Treasury, he had been expected to back Chancellor Rishi Sunak for the party leadership. 

But instead Mr Clarke quickly announced his support for Miss Truss and her plans to cut tax. 

An MP in the North East where he grew up, he is in line to become Levelling-Up Secretary and will have to deliver on the promises made to voters in the ‘red wall’ constituencies at the last election.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11179405/Liz-Truss-vows-help-Britain-recover-financial-slump-emerge-stronger.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Liz Truss vows to help Britain recover from financial slump and emerge even stronger

Emma Colton

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