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UK’s new PM vows to bail out energy, eliminate lost tax

LONDON –

Prime Minister Liz Truss told Parliament on Wednesday she would tackle Britain’s “very serious” energy crisis while still cutting taxes, ruling out the imposition of wind taxes on oil companies to pay for her plan to offset rising heating and electricity costs.

Truss rejected opposition calls for a new income tax, even as she tried to explain how she would fund a plan to help the public pay the energy bills skyrocketed by the invasion. Russia’s strategy into Ukraine and the economic aftershocks of COVID-19 and Brexit.

She said in her first session of the Prime Minister’s questions that she would lay out a plan on Thursday to help deal with the immediate price crisis so people “can get through this winter,” and strengthen Britain’s long-term energy security.

But she added: “I am against tax. I believe it is wrong for companies to stop investing in the UK as soon as we need to grow the economy.

“This country won’t be able to tax its way to growth,” she said, to enthusiastic cheers from Conservative lawmakers in a packed House of Commons.

A spokeswoman for Truss said she would not cancel a low-income tax imposed by former Chief Financial Officer Rishi Sunak, her defeated leadership rival in May, but would not introduce one. new. She is also scrapping the previously announced corporate tax increase from 19% to 25%.

Labor leader Keir Starmer says the figure has delivered billions of dollars to energy companies that have pocketed huge profits because of high energy prices. Instead, the cost of energy rebates would be borne by UK taxpayers, he said, branding Truss’ economic plans a “Tory fantasy”.

British media have reported that Truss plans to limit energy bills. The cost to taxpayers of that step could be as high as £100 billion ($116 billion).

Earlier on Wednesday, Truss led the first meeting for her new Cabinet – a government that is racially and gender-diverse and united in support of the new leader’s staunch free-market views. .

Truss, 47, was appointed prime minister by Queen Elizabeth II on Tuesday after winning the Conservative Party’s internal election to lead the Tories.

She immediately stamped the government, removing many ministers from the administration of former Prime Minister Boris Johnson – especially those who had supported Sunak in the Conservative Party leadership race.

She has appointed Kwasi Kwarteng as Treasurer, a key role for the Cabinet dominated by the energy crisis caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which threatens to push energy bills to unsustainable levels. , closing businesses and leaving the nation’s poorest people shivering at home. this winter. Kwarteng was the first black person to hold a job with the official title of Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Truss ally Therese Coffey becomes Britain’s first female deputy prime minister and also leads the Department of Health as the state-funded National Health Service grapples with soaring demand and dwindling resources. after COVID-19.

For the first time, none of the UK’s “major public bodies” – prime minister, prime minister, foreign secretary and home – were held by a white man. James Cleverly, whose mother is from Sierra Leone, was secretary of state, and Suella Braverman, of Indian heritage, was appointed secretary of state, responsible for immigration and law and order.

In her first speech as prime minister on Tuesday, Truss said she would cut taxes to boost economic growth, support the NHS and “respond” to the energy crisis.

“We should not be discouraged by the challenges we face,” Truss said in his speech. “As strong as the storm can be, I know the British people are getting stronger.”

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