Truss challenged: will she link benefits to inflation or punish the poor?

In the midst of the Conservative Party Conference, new prime minister Liz Truss is facing a hard challenge to her leadership.

Here’s Professor Tim Wilson to explain:

Linking benefits to inflation was a Boris Johnson policy that – like so many others – he never got round to (probably because he was too busy partying, giving away perks to Tory friends and donors, and meeting Russian oligarchs without the benefit of Foreign Office chaperones).

Ms Mordaunt, who is Leader of the House of Commons, is quoted by BBC News as having said,

“We want to make sure that people are looked after and that people can pay their bills. We are not about trying to help people with one hand and take away with another.”

This made Truss look very bad when she responded that the government has to be “fiscally responsible” and bring down the national debt.

She’s saying that cutting the amount of money going into the economy from private sources – which is all the national debt is – is more important than the homes, lives and livelihoods of millions of UK citizens.

And those millions include people in work whose wages have been squeezed so low – by the Tories over the last 12 years – that they have to claim benefits simply to try to make ends meet.

Failing to link payments with inflation will mean that benefits will no longer fulfil that function after Tory policies ensured that inflation skyrocketed.

So Truss’s choice is to honour Johnson’s pledge and find a different way than cutting benefits to reach her own target, or to stab the UK’s most vulnerable people in the back. And that is now public knowledge.

The reason it is now public knowledge is Penny Mordaunt. How long do you think she is going to keep her job?

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