Liz Truss has not ruled out giving Brits cash payments later this year to combat the cost of living crunch, Penny Mordaunt has said.
The senior Truss ally, and fallen leadership contender, today said that people had been “overinterpreting” comments made by the foreign secretary this weekend about her policy plans.
Truss told the Financial Times this weekend that she would ease cost of living pressures “in a Conservative way of lowering the tax burden, not giving out handouts”.
It comes as the Bank of England now predicts inflation to hit 13 per cent this year and Ofgem’s energy price cap could exceed £4,000 by January.
Leadership rival Rishi Sunak said Truss was “simply wrong” to rule out direct payments to families, after he announced a package earlier this year that saw people receive up to £1,200 to help pay for their energy bills.
Mordaunt told Sky News: “It’s not that she’s ruling out all future help, that’s a misinterpretation of what she said.”
She added: “There’ll be different things required for different people – there’s the package of support that’s already been put in place [and] Liz is looking at other measures.”
A spokesperson for Sunak’s campaign said Truss needed to clarify her position.
“Liz Truss needs to explain to the millions of people worried about rising bills in the Autumn whether she stands by the statement she gave Friday ruling out further support payments or has now changed her mind and is willing to consider them,” they said.
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.