Liz Truss says ‘high-paid jobs’ answer to cost of living crisis
The Labour leader said ordinary families were being crippled by the cost of living crisis and needed relief as inflation rose by 9 per cent last month.
The prime minister has “dithered” over a windfall tax and will end up supporting it in an “inevitable U-turn”, Sir Keir said. Mr Johnson accused Labour of being too keen to bring taxes on business.
Meanwhile, a Tory MP arrested on suspicion of rape and sexual assault over historic allegations was released on bail.
The unnamed MP, who is in his fifties, was asked by his party’s whips not to attend parliament while a police investigation is ongoing. Liz Truss said she was “very, very concerned about the reports.”
The arrest comes just weeks after Westminster was rocked by another round of “Pestminster” allegations against sitting MPs – which led Tory MP Neil Parish to resign for watching porn in the Commons.
Ian Blackford, the leader of the SNP in Westminster, asked if Boris Johnson supported “his chancellor’s insulting statement that acting now, in this cost of living emergency, would just be silly”.
Mr Blackford said: “People didn’t need to see this morning’s official statistics to know that we’re experiencing the highest inflation in 40 years, they know it because they’re living with it … Does the prime minister still support his Chancellor’s insulting statement that acting now, in this cost-of-living emergency, would just be silly.”
Mr Johnson said he supported the chancellor and pointed to the rise in living wage, cuts to taxes for people on benefits and energy bill relief.
He added: “And above all I support what he has done to deliver a strong economic foundation which makes all that possible.”
Liam James18 May 2022 12:48
Rees-Mogg an ‘oversized prefect’ says Starmer
Starmer takes aim at Jacob Rees-Mogg for his opposition to a windfall tax. He lists the Conservatives in favour of a windfall tax, along with business leaders and cites the head of BP’s recent remark that the levy would not harm investment.
“And on the other side: The member for North East Somerset. When he’s not sticking notes on people’s desks like some overgrown prefect is dead set against. When is he finally gonna get a grip?”
Boris Johnson, in reply, again hits at Labour’s taste for the tax rise.
Liam James18 May 2022 12:34
Starmer brings up the case of a patient with a rare kidney condition who needs near-constant care with a wife in full-time work.
The patient, Phoenix, and his family kept heating off in cold months and went without meals, Starmer says.
“People across the country need action now … stop the delay and do it for households who can’t afford and do it for Phoenix, who simply can’t afford to wait.”
Boris Johnson asks for Phoenix’s details and hits back at Starmer for voting against the government’s NHS plan.
Liam James18 May 2022 12:24
A third question on windfall tax from Starmer, this time more focused on cost of living impact on households.
Starmer: “Whilst he dithers, British households are slapped with an extra £53m on their energy bills every single day.” He compares this with massive profits of energy companies.
“Doesn’t he realise every single day he delays his inevitable U-turn … he’s choosing to let people struggle when they don’t need to?”
Boris Johnson replies to say “we’re already helping people with cost of living in every way we can.”
Liam James18 May 2022 12:19
Boris Johnson replies to Starmer’s second question about the windfall tax. He accuses Labour of being too keen on tax rises.
Brings up the war in Ukraine and the cost of sanctions. “Giving in would be the far greater economic risk.”
House loud on both sides.
Liam James18 May 2022 12:15
Starmer continuing on windfall tax. Focusing on the mixed signals from government.
“One minute he’s ruling it in, the next he’s ruling it out.
“When will he stop the hokey cokey and just back Labour’s plan for a windfall tax to cut household bills?”
Liam James18 May 2022 12:13
Starmer asks about windfall tax
First question from Sir Keir Starmer is on the windfall tax Labour has been asking the government to put on the huge profits of energy companies.
Boris Johnson replies “this government is not in principle in favour of higher taxation.
“What we want to do is take a sensible approach governed by the impact on jobs.
“That is the test of a strong economy. It is by having a strong economy we are able to look after to people as we did in Covid.”
He goes on to cite yesterday’s news of record high employment.
Liam James18 May 2022 12:11
PMQs is now under way in the Commons. Sir Keir Starmer is up.
Liam James18 May 2022 12:07
Liz Truss promises ‘legal statement’ soon on plan to override protocol, as she insists UK not breaking law
Boris Johnson’s government will publish its legal position on its plan to override parts of Northern Ireland Protocol soon, foreign secretary Liz Truss has promised.
The EU has threatened to retaliate if the UK proceeds with legislation to ditch agreed GB-NI checks, as announced on Tuesday – insisting the plan would violate the Brexit treaty.
“We are very clear that that is legal under international law, and we will publish a legal statement very shortly outlining the government’s legal position,” Ms Truss told BBC Radio’s 4’s Today programme.
Eleanor Sly18 May 2022 11:50
Inflation likely to see ‘bump’ before prices stabilise, warns cabinet minister
The international trade secretary, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, has warned that inflation will see a further “bump” before prices are likely to stabilise.
In a Q&A session held at Bloomberg’s HQ in London, she said that countries around the world were facing a “a global battle against inflation.”
She explained: “This is something we have to tackle across the board.
“And the worry we always have is that inflation tends to have two bumps to it.”
Adding: “You have the initial one that is caused by this energy spike and immediate global rise, but what can follow is the longer term impact and indeed through food production and particularly with disruption to Ukraine.
“So we know that we will probably have a couple of bumps to get through before we will see, we hope, stabilisation and a reduction as the energy crisis settles.”
Eleanor Sly18 May 2022 11:37