Rishi Sunak says he ‘stands ready’ against inflation
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The underfire Chancellor, who could end up being reshuffled out of his job, faced some of his sternest critics in a private meeting on Monday. Express.co.uk has been told that Conservative backbenchers “did not hold back” as they attacked “the lack of direction and philosophy” behind current economic policy from the Treasury.
One MP present told Express.co.uk: “It was really quite brutal, colleagues were very unhappy.
“The Chancellor was told to his face ‘you don’t have an economic policy, you don’t have a long term economic plan.’
“It’s always the criticisms which are closest to the bone that hurt the most but it is true I am afraid.”
Another MP present said that Tory backbenchers are “livid” about a “lack of a coherent policy to tackle inflation and the cost of living crisis.”
Earlier this week Express.co.uk reported that Mr Sunak had come under fire for an apparent U-turn on a windfall tax on energy company profits.
Scottish Conservatives in particular are incensed over the windfall tax on energy companies having been encouraged to go on the broadcast rounds to condemn the Labour proposal.
One told Express.co.uk: “The problem is we had been on all the television shows and in the press condemning the proposal.
“In Scotland we had aligned ourselves with the oil and gas companies strategically and warned that it would harm the economy.
“Now we have been left high and dry by the Government and there seems to be no reason to it.”
But the meeting is said to have focussed on a range of issues including continued anger over the National Insurance rise to pay for the NHS backlog and care for the elderly.
Others wanted him to flesh out details on leveling up and were asking why promises on investment in Red Wall areas in the north and midlands had not materialised.
There were also demands for income tax cuts to be brought forward and more to be done on the cost of living.
Meanwhile, he was also being told to get a grip on inflation which is threatening to get out of control and due to rise to 10 percent.
One MP present said: “You had to feel sorry for him. The problem was that there was no uniform thing being asked for by colleagues they were all over the place too.
“You could not possibly hope to deliver everything being demanded.
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“But Rishi [Sunak] made the mistake of telling colleagues it could not be done. He would have done better to say ‘I feel your pain’.
“Anybody who has knocked on doors canvassing knows you do not give a flat no straightway. That never works.”
The revelations about the meeting come after reports that he and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss have clashed over taxes and spending.
Ms Truss is said to favour lower taxes but wants more spent on foreign aid.
It comes as Mr Sunak was tonight due to tell businesses at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) that he is “on your side” and promise business tax cuts.
Another issue he was criticised about at the meeting were his plans to raise corporation tax by 3 percent which businesses claim is blocking investment and other companies moving to the UK.
Mr Sunak will say to the CBI: “We need you to invest more, train more, and innovate more. In the Autumn Budget we will cut your taxes to encourage you to do all those things.
“That is the path to higher productivity, higher living standards, and a more prosperous and secure future.”
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