Cabinet Minister Denies Tories Are Playing 'Party Politics' Over Cost Of Living Crisis

Pensions secretary Therese Coffey said it was “insulting” to suggest her colleagues were not taking the crisis seriously.
Therese Coffey
Therese Coffey
ITV's Good Morning Britain

A cabinet minister has denied the Tories are “playing party politics” over the cost of living crisis as fears over a winter recession spiked.

Pensions secretary Therese Coffey said it was “insulting” to suggest her colleagues were not taking the crisis seriously.

The UK economy shrunk by 0.6 per cent in June, figures from the Office for National Statistics showed on Friday morning.

The fresh Gross Domestic Product (GDP) figures have triggered further fears that the UK is hurtling towards a winter recession.

Meanwhile, some are predicting that energy bills could reach an eye-watering £5,000 next April.

However, ministers have been accused of going “missing in action” with government paralysed amid the race to replace Boris Johnson.

Liz Truss, frontrunner in the race, has declined to sit down with her rival to discuss a plan. Meanwhile, Downing Street has said Johnson would not make any major fiscal interventions.

Truss supporter Coffey insisted her colleagues were taking the crisis seriously during an interview on ITV’s Good Morning Britain.

Host Adil Ray said: “People want answers now. Isn’t it a fact that you guys are playing party politics with this?”

Coffey replied: “Not at all Adil. I find it really insulting.

“We’ve already committed to a £15 billion package, work is going across people still in government now.”

She said preparations were underway ahead of Ofgem’s price cap announcement at the end of this month and that ministers were drafting “potential options”.

Coffey went on to put Truss’s economic vision forward, arguing that reducing taxes would put money “back in the hands of people straight away”.

But Ray interjected: “For you and I, it’s OK. We can probably bear the additional cost.

“But do you know how hard it’re essentially telling them ‘just wait’. They can’t wait!

“They’re making decisions every day and they look to the government to help them.”

Coffey insisted the people “still in government” were working on the issues now.

Yesterday the prime minister, chancellor Nadhim Zahawi and business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng held crunch talks with energy and gas executives.

However, the group was criticised after the meeting ended with no new help for people struggling with the cost of living crisis.

Simon Clarke, chief secretary to the Treasury, has said the government was “working up” a plan to put to the next prime minister.


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