Boris Johnson has been asked to present an emergency budget to help families cope with the cost of living crisis.
The Prime Minister, opening the debate on the Queen’s speech in the Commons, said he and Chancellor Rishi Sunak would ‘say more’ about household aid in the ‘coming days’ – but Treasury sources ruled out any immediate tax relief.
There will be an all-day debate devoted to the cost of living next Tuesday, but the speech is light on specifics and only goes so far as to note the £22billion of support already provided to households rather than d set out new measures.
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Sir Keir Starmer, responding to the speech, said the government was ‘too out of touch’ and ‘too tired’ to make the changes the UK needed. The Labor leader told the Commons: ‘Times are tough but they are much tougher than they need to be.
“We need a government of the moment with ideas that respond to the aspirations of the British public.
“This thin address devoid of ideas or purpose, with no guiding principle or roadmap for delivery shows how far this government is from that – too disconnected to meet the challenges of the moment, too tired to seize the opportunities of the future. , their time has passed.
He added: “A government of the day would use the great powers at their disposal to tackle this issue head-on. Introduce an emergency budget, with a windfall tax for oil and gas producers that would bring in billions, the money could be used to lower the cost of energy bills and help businesses cut costs.
“A government of the moment would step back from the crisis and ensure that Britain was never again so vulnerable to soaring international prices, forced to go head-to-head from dictator to dictator in search of ‘a quick fix of imported oil.’
Mr Johnson pointed to the cost of the pandemic and global factors, such as the war in Ukraine, for soaring energy costs. The prime minister hinted that after 2024 the government would have “the fiscal firepower to help families across the country”.
He added: “The Chancellor and I will say more about this in the days to come. But at the same time as we help people, we need legislative power to address the underlying energy, housing, infrastructure and skills issues that are driving up costs for families across the country. .
“And this Queen’s Speech tackles these questions head-on. Above all, we are approaching economic challenges with the best solution of all, which is an ever-increasing number of highly paid and highly skilled jobs. Jobs, jobs, jobs.
“And we are increasing employment by creating the right platform for businesses to invest, making our streets safer, 20,000 more police, creating a healthier population, 50,000 more nurses, funding the NHS to helping them clear the Covid backlog and giving people the confidence that they will know they will be looked after in old age by fixing social care.”