Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss have pledged billions of pounds worth of cost of living help as Britons face down further inflation increases.
Truss, the frontrunner to be the next Prime Minister, told The Telegraph she would rush through £30bn+ in tax cuts months earlier than planned to combat the expected increases in inflation in the second half of the year.
She also ruled out further cash grants to help people pay their energy bills, after the government gave payments worth up to £1,200 this year.
Sunak said Truss was “wrong” to rule out direct help for households later this year as the UK’s energy price cap could rise above £4,000 by January.
Ofgem set the cap at £1,277 last October.
Sunak told The Times that he would “go further” on the cash payments he announced earlier this year if made Conservative leader and Prime Minister.
“It’s simply wrong to rule out further direct support at this time as Liz Truss has done and what’s more her tax proposals are not going to help very significantly people like pensioners or those on low incomes who are exactly the kind of families that are going to need help,” Sunak said.
Truss said that cutting taxes was the best way of easing the pressure on families in the wake of Bank of England predictions that inflation will now reach 13 per cent this year.
The foreign secretary, if victorious in the leadership race, is planning on overturning this year’s increase in National Insurance in an emergency budget next month.
“The way I would do things is in a Conservative way of lowering the tax burden, not giving out handouts,” she said.
The estimated 170,000 Conservative party members are now voting on who to make party leader, with the winner to be announced on 5 September.
Truss has a commanding lead in recent polls, with a YouGov survey of Tory members putting her almost 40 points ahead of Sunak.