Tory leadership: Liz Truss vows to cut VAT on energy bills if she becomes Prime Minister

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The Foreign Secretary said she will look at the cost-cutting proposal in an emergency budget. Ms Truss said she cannot promise what measures will be introduced in the financial statement but insisted she is “not a fan of taxes in general”. 

During a grilling by GB News viewers, the leadership contender was asked if she would keep the “Brexit promise” to get rid of the tax.

She replied: “I have said there will be a budget coming up on an urgent basis to deal with the issues we face and all of these issues need to be under consideration.”

Ms Truss also promised to “look at” resolving the war widows pensions scandal if she becomes the next PM during the People’s Forum event held in Leigh, Greater Manchester.

She said the situation was “very, very unfair” and was something she had tried to resolve as a minister in the past.

The Daily Express has led the War Widows’ Pensions Crusade to help around 300 women who missed out on an active service pension because they remarried before a change in the law in 2015.

Current government plans to deport migrants entering Britain illegally to Rwanda will continue but she vowed to be “very clear and robust in my negotiations with the French” to stop the small boats crisis in the channel.

Ms Truss said she will be looking for loyalty, competency and Conservative values in her Cabinet if she is made prime minister.

The No 10 operation will be “leaner” after becoming “a bit presidential”.

“What I will be looking for, if I am selected as prime minister, is three things in my team,” she said.

“First of all, people that are competent. Secondly, people that share our Conservative values are prepared to stand up to Whitehall and get those values through.

“And the third thing is people that are loyal and don’t spend their time briefing the press and talking to the press, spend their time getting on with the job. That’s what’s important to me.”

Ms Truss added that “we need all the Cabinet positions filled”, but said: “What I can promise is a leaner No 10, because I don’t believe in micromanagement. I think No 10 has become a bit too presidential.”

On the campaign trail, the Cabinet minister promised to do “all that I can” to help households struggling with the cost of living crisis.

The Conservative leadership candidate warned failure to turn around the economy will mean there is no money to help anyone.

Allies of Ms Truss accused rival Rishi Sunak of never cutting a tax in his life as the row over how to revive the country’s fortunes intensified. 

Ms Truss said: “As a Conservative, I am clear that our first port of call should always be to let people keep more of their own money.

“I understand how difficult the rising cost of living is making life for many, and if elected I will do all that I can to help struggling households.

“As it stands we are hurtling towards a recession. If we don’t get our economy growing we won’t be able to help anyone. That’s why I have a bold plan to cut taxes, for individuals and businesses, to turbocharge our economy, grow the size of the pie and increase prosperity for everyone.”

Mr Sunak’s team accused Ms Truss of u-turning on her plan to focus on tax cuts instead of handouts.

But Ms Truss’s campaign spokesman hit back, saying: “Rishi Sunak wouldn’t know how people benefit from a tax cut because he has never cut a tax in his life. People didn’t vote for the Conservative Party to be subjected to old-fashioned Gordon Brown-style politics of envy.

“You cannot tax your way to growth and Liz’s agenda is to build a high wage, high growth, low tax economy that supports people. Liz believes in people keeping more of their own money, not Rishi’s socialist tax and spending which will lead us to recession.”

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