Terrace excludes the imposition of exceptional fees to finance the freezing of energy bills  Gulf newspaper

Terrace excludes the imposition of exceptional fees to finance the freezing of energy bills Gulf newspaper

London – AFP

Liz Truss, on Wednesday, attended her first accountability session in the House of Commons as Prime Minister, during which she ruled out imposing extraordinary fees to fund a freeze on raising energy bills to compensate for the sharp rise in electricity and gas prices.

Trass, which was formally appointed to the post after Boris Johnson’s resignation, said it would announce, on Thursday, its plans for an economic support package to prevent a crisis from worsening in the coming months.

It is considering measures believed to be worth more than 130 billion pounds ($150 billion) to freeze energy bills for struggling families and businesses, many of which face bankruptcy this winter.

But when the opposition Labor leader, Keir Starmer, asked her whether the sums would be funded by extraordinary fees on energy company profits, Truss replied: “I am against any extraordinary fees.”

She added: “I think it would be a mistake to discourage companies from investing in the UK at a time when we need to grow the economy. This country will not be able to grow with taxes.”

The session set the tone for the discussion on how to address the expected economic difficulties in the future, at a time when inflation exceeded ten percent at its highest rate in 40 years.

In an indication of the size of the task entrusted to Terrace to revive the economy, the pound fell at around 14:00 GMT by 0.96% to reach 1,1409 against the dollar, its lowest level in 37 years.

Trass campaigned on a promise to cut taxes despite warnings that it could exacerbate inflation and questions about the source of the funding.

Trace was upbeat about the economic prospects when she entered Downing Street for the first time as prime minister on Tuesday.

“I am confident that together we can weather the storm,” she said, referring to the problems the country is facing. Starmer said, however, that ordinary people may pay the price for her policies.

Biden call

Earlier on Wednesday, Truss chaired a meeting of its government team, which is the most diverse in Britain’s history, and includes Kwasi Quarting as finance minister, James Cleverly as foreign minister, and Soila Braverman as home secretary.

Besides the pressing problem of energy prices, her government must address the issue of post-Brexit trade arrangements with Northern Ireland.

In her first calls with foreign leaders late Tuesday, she spoke by phone with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and then US President Joe Biden.

Truss agreed with Biden on the “importance of protecting” peace in Northern Ireland, according to Downing Street.

In Parliament, the Terrace said it was “determined to get out of the impasse”, expressing its support for a “negotiated settlement” with the European Union.

In her call with Zelensky, Truss pledged to continue her predecessor Johnson’s support for Ukraine against Russia.

Trass, 47, won an internal Conservative ballot that began in early July, taking 57 percent of the vote in a heated race against former finance minister Rishi Sunak.

But in the first phase of voting, she received the support of less than a third of party members.

It now faces the daunting challenge of reuniting the ruling Conservative Party after a bitter leadership battle. But analysts point out that it has excluded nearly all of Sunak’s supporters from the government.

On Monday, the Financial Times quoted a government source as saying that Conservative MPs “have no desire to deal with difficult decisions”. “They did it with Boris, and they might do it with Liz,” he said.

For its part, the newspaper “The Times” quoted one of the new ministers as saying: “I doubt that it will last two years.”

Opinion polls show a clear lead for Labor, but it will have to wait two years for the next general election.

On Monday, Terrace pledged to lead the party to victory “in 2024”. Elections are scheduled for January 2025 at the latest.

awful policy

Truss presented herself to the Tory grassroots as the champion of free trade and tax cuts, readying to cut taxes immediately to achieve rapid growth.

Under its plans to deal with the situation, a ceiling will be set for gas and electricity bills for both homes and businesses next winter, at least, and this ceiling will be close to current levels.

The government will grant loans or guarantee private sector loans to energy providers to offset the difference they pay due to high global wholesale prices.

It remains unclear whether the government will finance the scheme through additional borrowing, or make consumers pay over the next two decades a fee that may be added to electricity bills.

Paul Johnson of the Institute for Fiscal Studies called it “terrible policy” but probably necessary.

He wrote in a tweet that it was a “too expensive and unguided plan that increases the risk of shortages.” However, he cautioned that the scale of the problem “means that there may not be a viable alternative”.

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