Liz Truss rejects ‘sticking plaster’ solutions to cost-of-living crisis

The Tory leadership frontrunner re-iterated her plan to cut taxes for households.

16 August 2022

Liz Truss has rejected “sticking plaster” approaches to tackle the cost-of-living crisis, as she appeared to dismiss Labour’s £29 billion plan to target soaring energy costs.

The Tory leadership frontrunner, speaking to reporters in Scotland ahead of the latest round of hustings in Perth, re-iterated her plan to cut taxes for households.

Sir Keir Starmer tried to seize the initiative this week, with a costed £29 billion plan to stop energy bills rising this winter, paid for in part by an extension of the windfall levy on the profits of the oil and gas companies.

He also accused Ms Truss and Rishi Sunak of lacking ideas to solve the crisis.

Conservative leadership bid
Distilleries production manager Laura Tolmie (left) gives Liz Truss and Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross a tour during a campaign visit to the BenRiach Distillery in Speyside (Paul Campbell/PA)

Speaking to reporters at a whisky distillery in Elgin, north-east of Inverness, she said it was wrong to focus on “sticking plasters”.

“We’re still in the leadership contest at the moment. Now, my priority is reducing taxes so people can keep more of their own money at the same time as making sure we boost energy supply.

“It is wrong to just keep sticking plasters on this problem.

“What we actually need to do is make sure we are unleashing more energy, for example, from the North Sea.

“We’re investing in technologies like nuclear, and we’re finding more renewable energy as well.

“We need to solve this problem for the long term.”

Both Ms Truss and Mr Sunak have faced calls in recent days to take urgent action to tackle the cost-of-living crisis gripping households, even as Downing Street ruled out once again any co-ordination between Boris Johnson and his two would-be successors to offer more immediate solutions to the issue.

The Foreign Secretary, who is seen as the favourite to replace Boris Johnson as prime minister in a few weeks, was given a chance to sample some local whisky during the visit with Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross.

Both leadership candidates will face off in a hustings in Perth later this evening, before heading to Belfast for another hustings on Wednesday.

Ms Truss’s campaign received a boost on Tuesday, as 11 Government whips declared their backing for her.

During the visit to Elgin, she stressed the need for investment and low taxes in response to official figures showing workers’ pay lagging behind inflation at record levels.

She told broadcasters: “What’s very important is we get our economy growing. We are unleashing investment right across the United Kingdom.

“I’m here at a whisky distillery talking about how it’s important that we back industries like the whisky industry, we get more investment in. That’s why it’s important we keep taxes low.

“We unleash investment by changing the rules we have at the moment which rolled EU rules and we turbocharged growth right across our economy. That is the best way to deliver better wages, but also more jobs and more growth.”

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