ANOTHER support package to cushion the cost of living onslaught IS coming soon, Boris Johnson vowed today.
The PM said he was “not attracted” to a tax raid on oil giants to bring down bills for ordinary Brits – but insisted “no option is off the table”.
Rishi Sunak is considering a range of options to help ease the burden on Brits battling punishing price and energy bill hikes.
A Cabinet row has erupted over the proposed windfall tax on the grounds it flies in the face of Conservative values.
The Prime Minister told reporters at a school in St Mary Cray, south-east London: “No option is off the table, let’s be absolutely clear about that.
“I’m not attracted, intrinsically, to new taxes. But as I have said throughout, we have got to do what we can – and we will – to look after people through the aftershocks of Covid, through the current pressures on energy prices that we are seeing post-Covid and with what’s going on in Russia and we are going to put our arms round people, just as we did during the pandemic.”
He said there was “more that we are going to do” but “you’ll just have to wait a little bit longer”.
A top Treasury Minister today fuelled hopes of more support for families on Universal Credit.
Despite ruling out the return of the £20-a-week uplift, Simon Clarke dangled the attractive prospect of another cut to the taper rate.
Asked specifically on extra help, Mr Clarke would not rule anything out and said “all options are on the table”.
But he hailed last year’s decision to cut the taper rate from 63p to 55p and suggested another cut could come to let claimants keep more of their cash.
He said reducing the rate was “precisely the kind of authentic Conservative solution to this question that we want to see.”
Senior Tories including former party leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith have been demanding a benefits increase for the poorest households.
The Conservative big beast called for benefits payments to be brought into line with inflation so claimants can afford more.
Benefits payments were raised by 3.1 per cent in April, but since then prices have rocketed to 7 per cent and are still rising.
But Mr Clarke flatly denied plans to bring back the £20-a-week uplift introduced during the pandemic and wound down last year.
He told the BBC: “On that question, we were always explicitly clear that was a temporary response to the pandemic.
“That is not going to return. The question is how we best now look at the next range of solutions to deal with the challenges we’re facing.”
The Minister also threw down an ultimatum to oil and gas titans to start investing more in Britain – or face a tax grab.
Mr Sunak is on the brink of imposing a windfall on tax on their eye-watering profits to help pay for cost of living support.
But he is facing opposition from figures within Downing Street who are ideologically squeamish about taxing companies’ profits on the hoof.
It would also hand Labour a major victory since they called for the tax initially.
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