The government will not present an emergency budget in light of the cost of living crisis, but will “say more and do more to help people”, said Michael Gove.
Responding to the Government’s Queen’s Speech on Tuesday, the Labor leader Mr Keir Starmer claimed the government was “out of ideas” as the nation headed for a “stagflation crisis”.
In response, Boris Johnson replied: “We will continue to use all our ingenuity and compassion for as long as it takes and the Chancellor and I will say more about this in the days to come.”
But a Treasury spokesman said immediately after the PM’s comments that there would be no emergency budget.
Speaking to Sky News on Wednesday, the upgrade secretary said Mr Johnson’s words were “overinterpreted”.
Asked if the Prime Minister or the Treasury spokesman was right, Mr Gove added: ‘They are both right and there will be no emergency budget.
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He continued: “Sometimes the words of a prime minister or minister are over-interpreted.
“The Prime Minister is right. We will say more and do more to help people with the Cost of life challenge we are facing right now, but that does not equate to an emergency budget. It is part of the government’s job.
“Last night the Prime Minister convened a group of ministers – we have all been working on some of the things we could do to help. These policy initiatives will be announced by the various departments in due course as they are developed. .
“It’s part of the process of a government always and everywhere thinking about how we can help and how we can provide support, short and long term.”
Households are currently facing rising energy bills, inflation is expected to hit 10%, and benefits and wages are not keeping up with rising prices.
On Tuesday, Mr Johnson acknowledged that the aftershocks of the pandemic had led to soaring energy and food prices around the world.
He warned there were limits to the amount of public money he was willing to commit to deal with a global economic crisis.
But he spoke of using the government’s “fiscal firepower” to calm the situation in a strong hint at future help for households under pressure.
Welsh Secretary Simon Hart has increased speculation over further measures, saying on Tuesday evening that the cost of living crisis was “now the biggest challenge” in Britain that he and his Cabinet colleagues would discuss how to tackle. resolve this week.
“You’ll probably hear more on Thursday after the Cabinet meeting,” he told TalkTV.
Last month, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said he would need to see how far fuel prices would rise before proposing further measures.
“Depending on what happens to the bills, of course, if we have to take action and support people, we will,” he told Mumsnet at the time.
“But it would be silly to do it now or last month or the month before when we don’t know exactly what the situation will be in the fall.”
Sir Keir said the Queen’s Speech was ‘the latest chapter in a pathetic response to the cost of living crisis’, adding that Britain needed ‘a Government of the moment with ideas that respond to the aspirations of the British public”.
He called for measures such as an emergency budget, a windfall tax on energy companies and a better plan to avoid further energy crises in the future, for example by standing up to opponents of onshore wind farms.
Meanwhile, Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey later asked for clarification on what help might come after the Prime Minister’s hint followed by the Treasury ‘saying they have no idea what to do what the Prime Minister is referring to”.
Speaking to Sky News on Wednesday, he called for a reduction in VAT and a windfall tax on the profits of energy companies.
The Minister has consistently highlighted the £22billion government aid for energy bills, tax cuts and other measures.
But the Queen’s Speech has been criticized by some for containing no new measures to help drive up household costs.
Torsten Bell, chief executive of the Resolution Foundation think tank, said ministers had announced ‘nothing that could make a material difference’ to boost economic growth.
While Dr George Dibb, director of the IPPR Center for Economic Justice, added: ‘There is next to nothing in today’s Queen’s Speech for families struggling to make ends meet.’
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