Sunak pledges £10bn to help vulnerable people with rising energy bills | Rishi Sunak
Rishi Sunak has said he will find up to £10billion to help people facing rising energy bills, as a minister backing his Tory-led rival has indicated that direct support for people in difficulty would be announced “in a thoughtful manner”.
Acknowledging he would have to increase government borrowing to deal with the crisis, the former chancellor outlined what he envisioned as a support package for up to 16 million vulnerable people.
“People now need reassurance about what we are going to do and I make no apologies for focusing on what matters most,” Sunak wrote in the temperaturewho said he valued an energy VAT cut of £5bn.
He also reportedly promised to find the same amount to help those most in need, as he said: “You can’t heat your house with hope.”
It comes after Sunak claimed Liz Truss’ cost-of-living plans could expose the vulnerable to “real destitution” with economic policy once again driving a wedge between the candidates.
As Sunak and Truss took the stage for the latest Conservative Party roundups in Cheltenham, Sunak refused to rule out ‘some limited and temporary one-off loans as a last resort to get us through this winter’.
He also said that without further direct payments, pensioners and people on very low incomes could face serious hardship.
However, Truss-supporting Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey hit back on Friday morning, taking a veiled swipe at Sunak for not waiting for energy regulator Ofgem to make a key announcement on the cap. energy prices before his last intervention. .
Defending Truss, Coffey said: “She is absolutely an MP who knows what it is for struggling households and that is why, rightly and thoughtfully, once Ofgem sets its price cap… the whole government… and it will be a decision for the new Prime Minister to enact any changes that may be made.
Referring to Sunak, she said: ‘I appreciate what he says but Ofgem did not report. When he was Chancellor, he waited for Ofgem’s report before making any proposals.
Coffey told BBC Radio 4’s Today program that she had provided this previous support through legislation and at the time was ‘stuck in government’ when she asked for the power to make payments faster.
“I provided this through legislation and at the time I asked for powers to be able to make payments faster. It was not given to me. It was blocked in government , so if we want to do things through the welfare system, we should do whole new primary legislation,” she said.
Sunak’s campaign comments on Thursday came after Truss, in his own question-and-answer session at the event, reiterated his belief that tax cuts should be the main response to the surge. bills.
Truss told the audience of Conservative members that would always be his “first port of call”, followed by a focus on longer-term energy supply issues such as support for fracking and nuclear power.
Truss said she could provide further assistance, but gave no details, saying she ‘cannot write the chancellor’s budget’ even before being elected prime minister.
“If the answer to every question is to raise taxes, we’ll stifle economic growth and send ourselves into scarcity, and I think that’s a huge problem,” she said.