Source > Huffington Post
11/05/2022 07:49am BST
Michael Gove has slapped down any suggestions of an emergency budget this summer to ease the cost of living crisis.
The Levelling Up Secretary flatly denied there would be an emergency budget and suggested the prime minister’s words had been overinterpreted.
Boris Johnson raised hopes of an emergency package after the Queen’s Speech when he told the Commons that he and the Chancellor would say more on the cost of living “in the days to come”.
It fuelled speculation that Rishi Sunak could deliver an emergency budget to help people cope with soaring bills.
However, sources close to Sunak quickly made clear that they knew nothing about it, and insisted no new measures were due before the autumn.
Gove suggested commentators were “chasing their own tails” and told Sky News: “There won’t be an emergency budget. It is sometimes the case that the words from a prime minister or minister are overinterpreted.
“The prime minister is right. We will be saying more and doing more in order to help people with the cost-of-living challenge we face at the moment, but that doesn’t amount to an emergency budget. It is part of the work of government.
“Last night the prime minister convened a group of ministers – we have all done work on some of the things we could do to help. Those policy initiatives will be announced by individual departments in due course as they are worked up.
“It is part of the process for a government that is always and everywhere thinking of how we can help and how we can provide support, both short term and long term.”
Lib Dem Treasury spokesperson Christine Jardine described the issue as a “complete shambles.”
She added: “Millions of families and pensioners are struggling to get by. They need more help now before things get even worse in the autumn.
“Instead all we get from this Conservative government is chaos and confusion.
“An emergency budget is needed now to cut taxes for ordinary families while taxing the super profits of oil and gas companies. That would be the fair and right thing to do.”
Johnson made his comments in a debate on the Queen’s Speech, which contained 38 bills but no immediate plans for dealing with the cost of living crisis.
He said: “My right honourable friend the Chancellor and I will be saying more about this in the days to come.
“But at the same time as we help people, we need the legislative firepower to fix the underlying problems in energy supply, in housing, in infrastructure and in skills which are driving up costs for families across the country.
“And this Queen’s Speech takes those issues head on. And above all, we are tackling the economic challenges with the best solution of all and that is an ever growing number of high wage, high skill jobs. Jobs, jobs, jobs.”
An ally of the Chancellor told HuffPost UK there were “no announcements as far as we are aware”.
They added: “Rishi has always been clear that we would set out plans for support on energy bills for autumn when we know what the [energy] price cap is going to be – but we’re not there yet.”
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