Boris Johnson REFUSES to take action to ease cost-of-living pain before quitting No10 in A MONTH: PM returns from honeymoon but will leave it to successor to act – as Gordon Brown blasts him and Chancellor for holidaying during economic crisis
- Ex-PM suggested recalling Parliament from its long summer holiday over crisis
- Bank of England warned of recession and inflation hitting 13 per cent this year
- But Mr Johnson will only return from his honeymoon in Slovenia today
Britons needing help with dire energy bills and rising prices won’t get any from the Government for at least a month after Boris Johnson refused to act before quitting No10.
Downing Street said today it was ‘not for this PM to make fiscal interventions during this period’ as he returned to work after his honeymoon.
Mr Johnson is in power for four more weeks until the result of the Tory leadership election is known on September 6. During that period he will pick up around £13,600 in salary.
It means there will be no decisions on whether to make more interventions or not before either Liz Truss or Rishi Sunak takes over.
It comes as the returning PM and Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi face criticism over the current ‘vacuum’ at the heart of Government
Last week the Bank of England hiked interest rates by 0.5 per cent and warned of a double whammy of a five-quarter recession and inflation hitting 13 per cent, two percentage pints more than previous feared.
It means thousands of pounds more needing to be spend on bills from October.
‘It will be for a future prime minister to decide what physical interventions or whether fiscal interventions are necessary but I would simply note that both candidates have have talked about making further support available,’ his spokesman said.
Asked if it was fair to say the PM had been ‘missing in action, the spokesman said ‘no’, adding: ‘There is a significant amount already being done. On cost of living the prime minister will be speaking to the chancellor to make sure that the support that is coming in later in the year is on track.’
Ex-Labour PM Gordon Brown lashed out at the two senior politicians for refusing to cut short their holidays today.
The former Labour prime minister suggested recalling Parliament from its long summer holiday, a decision in September would he ‘too late’ for 27.7 million Britons facing fuel poverty in October.
‘There’s got to be someone in charge. And it’s not just that they’re asleep at the wheel – there’s nobody at the wheel at the moment,’ he told Good Morning Britain.
The former Labour prime minister suggested capping bills and recalling Parliament from its long summer holiday to deal with the crisis that unfurled last week
Mr Johnson will only return from his honeymoon in Slovenia today after whisking Carrie away to a £550-per-night eco-hotel. And Mr Zahawi took his family abroad to their holiday home.
The Bank of England has predicted that inflation will reach 13% in the coming months
The Bank of England has increased interest rates from 1.25 per cent to 1.75 per cent
‘You’ve got Boris and his chancellor who have been on holiday, and then you’ve got the two leadership candidates on the campaign trail.
‘What’s happening at the centre of Government is there is a vacuum and it’s got to be filled immediately if we’re going to protect people by October.
‘I know from my own experience, you’ve got to act quickly to deal with the benefits and tax issues if you’re going to get the changes in by the time you want them to be in.’
It came as Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss clashed over the cost-of-living crisis amid signs that the public want the new Tory PM to get a grip on runaway inflation before handing out tax cuts.
The Foreign Secretary, who is the favourite to enter No10 in four weeks’ time, was slammed by her rival after she pledged to cut National Insurance and green levies on bills within days of taking power.
Writing in the Sun he accused her of ‘starry-eyes boosterism’, having said he will only cut taxes once inflation is under control. But her camp hit back, calling him the ‘founding father of a recession’.
A new poll by YouGov for the Times today found that two-thirds (64 per cent) of voters believe inflation should be the new PM’s main priority. Just 17 per cent said they should focus on tax cuts.
Meanwhile former Northern Ireland secretary Brandon Lewis today defended Ms Truss for suggesting there would be no ‘handouts’ for families amid spiralling bills and prices on the high street.
Mr Brown told Sky News: ‘We know that tax cuts will not make the difference because they go to people who have the most money, not the people who have the least money.
‘So I would be talking about changes in the Universal Credit system to give people the money that is necessary, and I would be talking about, potentially, capping energy bills.
‘That would have the effect of getting inflation down, as well as of course helping people in the greatest need. None of these things seem to be being discussed at the moment in the way they should be and it really isn’t good enough.’