Liz Truss has been accused of performing another policy U-turn, after the Tory leadership frontrunner hinted she was open to giving households cash payments to ease the cost of living crisis.
Sources on her campaign today said “there is work going on in government on what more can be done” to help people cope with spiralling energy bills and broader inflation and that “Liz has been consistently clear that she will do all that she can to help those struggling with the cost of living”.
It comes after the Tory leadership candidate last week said she preferred tax cuts to help Brits facing cost of living pressures over “handouts”.
Her allies have rowed back on this in the days since and today’s statements appear to show that she is open to giving households more emergency payments amid new predictions that the energy price cap will reach £4,200 by January.
She refused three times today during a GB News people’s forum to rule out giving direct payments to families in autumn or winter.
A spokesperson for her leadership rival Rishi Sunak said “this is a major u-turn on the biggest issue currently facing the country”.
“Twice now, Truss has made a serious moral and political misjudgement on a policy affecting millions of people, after last week reversing plans to cut the pay of teachers and the armed forces outside London,” they said.
“Mistakes like this in government would cost the Conservative party the next General Election.”
Truss has said she will immediately cut National Insurance and temporarily remove green energy levies to “put money back into people’s pockets”.
She said today that people may receive more support if she becomes Prime Minister as a part of a September emergency Budget.
“We don’t yet have a new Prime Minister, that happens in September. I can’t announce exactly what I’ll do at this stage,” she said.
“What I’m determined to do is help people across this country for what will be a very difficult winter.”