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Cost of living – live: Liz Truss says energy company ‘not hurting’ profits as bills rise – The Independent

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Sunak and Truss ‘fight each other like rats in a sack’, says shadow justice secretary

Rishi Sunak has argued that Liz Truss’s tax cut plans without direct support “will leave millions of incredibly vulnerable people at risk of real poverty”.

Answering questions at an event in Cheltenham organized by the Conservatives with party members, he said this would be a “moral failure”.

“(Liz) thinks her tax cut will help her, which it’s not, we will, as a Conservative government, leave millions of incredibly vulnerable people at risk of real misery,” he said.

“Well, I think it’s a moral failure.”

Ms Truss hit back, saying she is “low tax, pro growth, pro opportunity” and she wants to ensure the UK is open for business.

The two candidates were grilled on their economic policies as a new Cornwall Insight report warned that British households could face higher energy prices for around a decade until more renewable electricity generation brings costs back to pre-2021 levels.

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Truss tax idea would save poorest just 76p per month, says Blair think tank

Liz Truss’s plan to reverse the recent increase in the National Insurance contribution would save households on the lowest incomes an average of just 76p a month, according to the Tony Blair Institute, reports Adam Forrest.

The think tank said the tax cut would leave the UK’s richest households better off by £93 a month. Then the institute also said Rishi Sunak’s proposals to cut VAT on fuel “will have little to no impact on low-income households”.

Ian Mulheirn, chief economist at the Tony Blair Institute, said: “Ideas floating in the Conservative leadership contest … will do next to nothing to help the people most exposed this winter.

“A serious response will require the new Prime Minister to extend and expand Chancellor Sunak’s support package. The costs will be in the tens of billions, but there is no alternative.”

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Brexit: Don’t rush into a bad trade deal with India, business leaders warn the government

Top British business bodies have warned the government against rushing into a bad trade deal with India to meet a self-imposed deadline to get it “done by Diwali”.

Our political correspondent Adam Forrest reports:

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Sunak raises promises to tackle cost of living crisis

Rishi Sunak has stepped up his promises to tackle the cost of living crisis as he tries to gain ground on his rival in the Tory leadership contest.

The former chancellor has said he is ready to find up to £10 billion of extra support for those facing rising bills in the autumn – with a vision to cover the total cost for up to 16 million vulnerable people, according to The Times.

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Truss is looking at ‘every option’ on energy bills, says Coffey

Liz Truss supporter Therese Coffey has said that “every option” – including direct support payments – will be considered when it comes to dealing with energy bills, our political correspondent, Adam Forrestreports.

Asked by Sky News whether Mrs Truss would consider handouts to help if she became Prime Minister, the Work and Pensions Secretary said: “Absolutely.”

She added: “Every option will be considered in terms of support schemes that may be needed, whether it’s a targeted way or the general way to remove that increase in National Insurance, which Liz is absolutely committed to doing in an emergency budget.”

But Coffey again emphasized tax cuts over “handouts” as he talked about further steps. “The reason I’m supporting Liz is to get that growth, to make sure people have more money in their own pockets instead of waiting for the government to do these schemes and pay people back.”

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Shrinking economy shows government ‘lacking in action’, say Lib Dems

Responding to figures showing GDP fell by 0.6 per cent in June, the Lib Dems’ Treasury spokesman for Sarah Olney MP said: “The warning lights are flashing red but the government is failing to act.”

“There is no time to waste, ministers must act now to boost confidence and avoid a recession.

“It’s time to reassure families by scrapping the increase in energy prices, funded by a windfall tax on the record profits of oil and gas giants.”

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Labor shadow chancellor accused Tories of losing control of economy

Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves said: “The economy is shrinking. Inflation is skyrocketing. It’s clearer than ever that the Conservatives have lost control of the economy.

“With the Bank of England predicting a recession lasting all of next year, the Conservative leadership contenders need to stop playing to the gallery and start coming up with a serious plan to get Britain’s economy back on track rate to get.

“Labour will take the action needed now to get people through the cost of living crisis and build the stronger, safer economy Britain deserves.”

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Under the Conservative government’s current plans, the Bank of England says we are heading for a recession.

“Ministers must do much more to get a pay rise. We need to give an early boost to the minimum wage and public sector wage increases that keep pace with inflation this fall. This will help protect demand and business confidence. “

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See Truss loses direction at Cheltenham hustings

Liz Trumpeter mistakenly told the Cheltenham hustings she was in Derbyshireregardless of the city it is located in Gloucestershire.

When asked how she will tackle the cost of living crisis, the Tory leadership challenger told Conservative members they want to concentrate on “lowering taxes”.

Ms Truss then appeared to get her counties mixed up, saying “we must continue to supply the small modular nuclear reactors we manufacture here in Derbyshire”.

Her claim was still met with a small round of applause from the Cheltenham crowd.

Truss wrongly says that Cheltenham hustings are in Derbyshire rather than Gloucestershire

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Work and Pensions Secretary downplays £5,000 bill warning

Average energy prices next year will be “nowhere near” the predicted £5,000, a minister has said.

Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “Just as it happened in May, we were waiting for Ofgem to come out with the formal changes about what might happen to energy prices or what would happen to the price cap.

“All the figures I’ve seen in no way suggest an average energy bill of £5,000 next year, nothing close to that.”

Liz Truss supporter Ms Coffey added: “However, the Government is now preparing…

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Coffey says ‘every cost-of-living option’ is on the table – including handouts

Liz Truss supporter Therese Coffey has said that “every option”, including handouts, will be considered when it comes to cost of living support.

Asked by Sky News whether Mrs Truss would consider handouts to help with rising energy prices as Prime Minister, Work and Pensions Secretary Mrs Coffey said: “Absolutely, every option will be considered in terms of support schemes that may be necessary, whether it is a direct way or the general way to remove that increase in national insurance, which Liz is absolutely committed to doing in an emergency budget.

“People will get help. I think it’s about what change in help is possibly needed, but help is already being given and will be given in the future as well.”

Ms Coffey suggested the Government was “getting ready” to provide more help once Ofgem announced the new price cap.

She added: “Obviously we have to formally wait for Ofgem to report at the end of the month and then we can possibly take further steps, but I think … the reason I’m supporting Liz is to get that growth , to make sure people have more money in their own pockets instead of waiting for the government to do these schemes and pay people back.”

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Truss insists energy company profits ‘not evil or dirty’

Conservative leadership favored Liz Trumpeter defended the huge profits of the energy giants, insisting they should not be seen as “dirty or evil”.

It is because the leaders of the oil and gas industry pushed Truss and her rival Rishi Sunak to abolish the windfall tax on profits as soon as possible – and not to extend it to 2025.

Truss – who opposes opposition calls to extend the windfall tax – said: “I don’t think profit is a dirty word. And the fact that it has become a dirty word in our society is a massive problem.

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Truss has defended energy company profits despite millions struggling with huge bills

(EPA)

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