‘People crying out for help!’ Ferrari puts Liz Truss on spot in tense cost of living probe

Ferrari tells Truss ‘people are crying out for help’

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LBC’s Nick Ferrari confronted Foreign Secretary Liz Truss about the Government’s lack of response to the cost-of-living crisis amid skyrocketing energy and food prices. The Institute for Fiscal Studies (ISF) shows the lowest-income households faced an inflation rate of 10.9 percent in April – that is two percentage points higher than the average-income households and three percentage points above the wealthiest households. That discrepancy is due to the poorest households spending 11 percent of their total expenditure on gas and electricity and the richest ones only spending 4 percent on energy, the ISF says.

Against that backdrop, LBC’s Nick Ferrari told Secretary Liz Truss: “There are people crying out for help, Foreign Secretary. 

“Are we close to having a windfall tax? Some of the headlines seem to suggest we are.”

To Mr Ferrari’s windfall tax question, Secretary Truss squirmed: “We are facing very very serious global inflation issues, which are being caused by the Covid crisis, the fallout of that.

“But also the war in Ukraine perpetrated by Russians.

“We’ve seen that price spike in energy, we’re seeing food price spikes.”

“But that’s only 82 days, Foreign Secretary”, LBC’s Nick Ferrari retorted.

“The economic malaise that we’re suffering, respectfully, is not the product of an 82-day conflict.

“It goes back further than that, does it not?”” Mr Ferrari asked.

Secretary Truss defended: “Well, the inflation figures we’ve seen today in the United Kingdom are similar to what we’re seeing across Europe, across America.

“The inflation issue is a global headwind that we’re all facing.”

“On the subject of the windfall tax, which you asked me about, what I want to see is I want to see those energy companies invest more into new, new operations”, Secretary Truss squirmed.

LBC’s Ferrari then asked: “How does that help the pensioner who spends all day in a library today because he/she can’t afford to heat their home?

“What I read is it could be £2 billion worth of windfall tax being passed on to consumers, foreign secretary.”

Ms Truss said: “Well, we have set up a one-billion-pound fund to help support households who are in need.

“And I recognise that’s a very difficult situation, including for pensioners, including for other people so we have set up that fund.”

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“But I think one of the reasons that we’re facing the very serious issue on energy is we haven’t produced enough of our own domestic energy”, Secretary Truss admitted.

“We haven’t historically invested enough in technologies like nuclear.

“This is my point that these businesses need to be investing for the future so that we have a resilient energy supply and we’re less susceptible to these energy price shocks in the future.

“So, there would be a cost of putting in place a windfall tax rather than seeing that investment in the future of our energy supply.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was considering introducing a windfall tax on oil and gas giants, but Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak has so far failed to act.

Amid the Labour’s calls for a windfall tax, Mr Sunak said: “no option is off the table.”

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