She has also warned not all her decisions ‘will be popular’ – and boasted it is ‘fair’ to plough on with tax cuts that help the rich 235 times more than the poor
Liz Truss is ‘considering’ a freeze on at least some Brits’ energy bills to stop catastrophic rises this winter, it emerged today.
Allies said the Tory leadership favourite is looking at support on the scale of the Covid furlough scheme – which cost £70 billion.
No final decisions have been made – and insiders say they will not be until after she is confirmed as Prime Minister, with an announcement at 12.30 pm today.
She has also warned not all her decisions ‘will be popular’ – and boasted it is ‘fair’ to plough on with tax cuts that help the rich 235 times more than the poor.
But with Truss promising an announcement this week, industry and political sources told two newspapers her team have looked at a freeze on at least some people’s bills.
An energy firm source told the Telegraph the idea has been ‘extremely actively explored’ by Truss campaign figures. With reports it could affect millions of customers, a Team Truss insider added: I’m confident there will be a mechanism introduced that freezes bills.
Another source told The Times: The plan is to introduce some kind of artificial price cap for consumers combined with a mechanism for reimbursing suppliers. Plans are reasonably well advanced and involve not just civil servants but also ministers lined up for jobs by Truss.
Scottish Power has previously proposed a two-year freeze on bills, funded by £100bn of government-backed loans that would be paid back by customers over decades.
A Truss ally who has been lined up for her Cabinet said reports of a freeze were not confirmed – and any help was unlikely to be ‘as crude’ as Labour ’s £29bn six-month total freeze on all bills, which she has branded a ‘sticking plaster’.
Household bills will rocket from £1,277 a year last winter to £3,549 a year this winter – and far higher for businesses, who warn they face financial ruin.
Treasury officials had produced a private report with a range of options, such as raising Universal Credit to help the most vulnerable.
Truss is the favourite to be named the next PM at 12.30 pm today, and would then be confirmed by the Queen at Balmoral on Tuesday.
But over a two-month campaign she has refused to say what help she would offer Brits and blasted cash ‘handouts’, saying tax cuts that help the rich are her first priority.
In a hardline, Thatcherite stance yesterday she said: To look at everything through the lens of redistribution I believe is wrong.
Hinting at cuts to pay for her tax breaks, she added: Not all of those decisions will be popular but I will be honest about what we will have to do.