Amid fresh questions about Boris Johnson’s whereabouts, ritons will have to wait several weeks before the government shows further support to tackle rising inflation.
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said he expects the next prime minister to have measures to help people in the emergency budget, although that is not expected for at least another month.
He also said “I don’t know where Boris is”, but claimed people would not force the outgoing prime minister to take a honeymoon, adding that he was in “regular contact” with Mr Johnson. I am
Both Mr Johnson and Chancellor Nadeem Zahawi were on holiday and away from Westminster when the Bank of England warned that the economy would enter its longest recession since the 2008 financial crisis.
Interest rates were raised to 1.75% from 1.25%, the biggest increase in 27 years, while the bank also predicted that inflation could reach 13.3%.
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss or former chancellor Rishi Shankar will be announced as the winner of the Conservative Party leadership contest on September 5 and will then take over from Mr Johnson as prime minister.
The House of Commons will sit from September 5 to September 22 before adjourning for a month, meaning the new administration will have to act quickly to put together an emergency budget before the party conference recess.
Mr Kwarting said Mr Zahavi was “always available”, before telling Sky News: “I’m the business secretary, I’m here, I’m in your studio, I’m in the suit, I’m not on holiday. And we are fully focused on trying to deal with this problem.”
Pressed on what action he was taking now, Mr Kwarteng told Times Radio that he was looking at improving gas storage capacity and energy security, although he admitted it was “medium term”. ” have problems.
He added: “But the urgent effort to fix this problem has to be made by the Treasury, it has to be done by whoever is the next chancellor.”
Mr Kwarteng said the government was “focusing on the cost of living”, adding: “It means we are looking at measures to be introduced in a possible emergency budget, but of course we have a leadership contest. So the party gets to decide who the leader is, and then the next prime minister will put that at the top of their agenda.
Mr Kwarteng added: “The only way we can deal with the immediate problem is through emergency budgets, interventions, and that’s what’s going to happen.
“But obviously, until we have a new prime minister, which is only four weeks away, we will have to wait for a new prime minister and a new chancellor because they have to work together on this. A Support package throughout.”
Mr Kwarteng added: “We need a new prime minister, and without a new prime minister we won’t be able to have an emergency budget, and without an emergency budget we won’t be able to help people, so I’m afraid. That is the series.”
The cabinet minister said it was “completely wrong” to say the government was doing nothing over the summer, with Mr Johnson adding: “I don’t know where Boris is, but I am in constant contact with him. He is married now, I think he is on his honeymoon and I don’t think many people will be upset with him.
Asked why he did not know the prime minister’s whereabouts, Mr Kwarting replied: “Because I am here in London, concentrating on my work. I am in regular contact with him, as I am chancellor. Be with Of the Executor.
He said he exchanged WhatsApp messages with the pair “all the time”, adding about Mr Johnson’s honeymoon activities: “He is very focused on energy saving measures. It also has a focus on renewables and I think the renewables story has been really, really good in the UK.
Jonathan Ashworth, the shadow work and pensions secretary, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “There will be families and pensioners across the country who will wake up this morning, reading the news, who will be absolutely horrified because A juggernaut is on its way that will destroy the family finances.
“Therefore, action is required. We have time to plan.
“The package announced to help families cope with energy bills is clearly not enough if we are talking about energy bills of more than £4,000 – that’s almost half the full state pension.
“So, we will reduce VAT on energy bills, we will not give gas and oil companies £4 billion worth of tax breaks as the government is doing, we will refurbish homes.”