PM's first day pledges

Energy plan ahead as Truss gets down to work

Liz Truss: ‘I will cut taxes and reward hard work’

Liz Truss is expected to deliver a Covid-style support package to help get Britain through the winter and kickstart her revolution in the energy sector.

She will announce an unprecedented bailout for families and businesses, potentially costing £150 billion – double the £69 billion furlough scheme – accompanied by a further £30bn of tax cuts to reward hard work and incentivise growth.

She is expected to fix the unit price for energy suppliers to sell gas and electricity to households, potentially sidelining the regulator Ofgem, along with a green levy cut which will freeze average bills at the current level.

After heavy rain delayed her introduction to the waiting media in Downing Street, the new Prime Minister arrived fresh from her audience with the Queen at Balmoral promising to “get spades in the ground” to build hospitals, schools, roads and broadband.

She has declared herself a free-marketeer and is relying on the market to be the centrepiece of a “bold plan to grow the economy through tax cuts and reform”.

She declared unequivocally: “I will cut taxes to reward hard work and boost business.”

Ms Truss said the British people should “not be daunted by the challenges we face stating that the country which was built “by people who get things done”.

She said: “We have huge reserves of talent, of energy and determination. I am confident that together we can ride out the storm, we can rebuild the economy, we can become the modern brilliant Britain that we know we can be.

“We need to reduce the burden on families and help people get on in life.”

Cutting taxes will “reward hard work and boost business-led growth and investment,” she said.

“Now is the time to tackle the issues that are holding Britain back. We need to build roads, homes and broadband faster. We need more investment and great jobs in every town and city across our country.”

Britain would become a nation “with high-paying jobs, safe streets and where everyone everywhere has the opportunities they deserve”.

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Helping her to achieve this vision will be a new Cabinet. The key positions were no surprise, confirming appointments that had been predicted in recent days, though there was no room for any of her leadership rival Rishi Sunak’s supporters, defying those who said this pointed to continuing divisions in the party.

Kwasi Kwarteng becomes Chancellor, James Cleverly is appointed Foreign Secretary and Suella Braverman Home Secretary. For the first time, none of the top four “great offices of state” is held by a white man.

Long-standing Truss ally Thérèse Coffey is the new Health Secretary and Deputy Prime Minister. Ms Coffey has promised an emergency plan for the NHS next week.

Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg replaces Mr Kwarteng as Business Secretary and is expected to instigate a bonfire of regulations. Alister Jack remains Scottish Secretary.

Following the scandal surrounding the Downing Street parties, Ms Truss has already set about a clearout of staff who served her predecessor and will replace them with a smaller unit.

Angela Rayner, Labour’s Deputy Leader, said: “Liz Truss is not on the side of working people. While families are sick with worry about how they will pay their energy bills this, Liz Truss is giving handouts to companies.

“She nodded through the decisions that got working people into this mess and is expecting working people to shoulder the cost of getting out of it. She thinks working people just need a bit more graft to solve the problems her government caused. 

“Labour has set out a fully funded plan to ensure no one pays a penny more on their energy bill this winter. Because Labour is on the side of working people, while the Tories are the party protecting oil and gas profits.”

Comment Truss: what we will get may surprise us

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