Hunt has 'removed last plank' of Truss' premiership warns Rigby
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Liz Truss has just had the “last plank of her entire premiership” removed as Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced that the energy price guarantee, which was originally a two-year policy, would be reviewed and likely scrapped in April of next year, an expert has claimed. Sky News’ political correspondent Beth Rigby said the move constitutes a “massive reversal” and undermined arguments made by Liz Truss over the past few weeks against the Labour Party, who had proposed a windfall tax to subside energy bills until April. The announcement has fuelled concerns that the country is now being run “de facto” by the Chancellor.
Ms Rigby said: “That went further than all of us thought it would. He has just junked the entire mini-budget.
“The income tax scrap announced by Jeremy Hunt is not just a delay, which was the former administration’s original plan, it is cut indefinitely. And he has said together the measures would raise £32billion.
“So, this is a complete reversal of Ms Truss’s budget. But he went even further, and this I think is very politically significant, because he said that the Government will only commit to carrying out the energy support package until April next year and then it will be reviewed by the Treasury.
“The reason that is significant politically for Ms Truss is that her two-year guarantee to households has been the political platform on which she has tried to salvage her premiership.
“So, every time she faced a difficult question, she would say, “Well, I am doing the energy package bill’. More than that, in the Commons, Sir Keir Starmer’s policy was the windfall tax on big energy companies to support bills up to April 2023 and the Prime Minister used this as an attack line on Labour saying, ‘I have got a two-year plan. What about you?’.
“So, [Mr Hunt] has just pulled the rug from under her on that, as well. The massive reversals I think are a scale of the predicament the Government sees itself in terms of the markets.
“I think politically for Ms Truss, [Mr Hunt] has now just undone another plank, the last plank, if you like, of her entire premiership.”
Jeremy Hunt announced that help with energy bills for households will only last until April, with a review to find a “new approach” that will “cost the taxpayer significantly less”.
In an emergency statement, the new Chancellor said: “The biggest single expense in the growth plan was the energy price guarantee.
“This is a landmark policy supporting millions of people through a difficult winter and today I want to confirm that the support we are providing between now and April next year will not change.
“But beyond that, the Prime Minister and I have agreed it would not be responsible to continue exposing public finances to unlimited volatility in international gas prices.
“So I’m announcing today a Treasury-led review into how we support energy bills beyond April next year. The objective is to design a new approach that will cost the taxpayer significantly less than planned whilst ensuring enough support for those in need.
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