'No, no, no': Gove rejects emergency budget calls in clash with Nick Ferrari

11 May 2022, 08:54 | Updated: 11 May 2022, 09:48

By Daisy Stephens

Michael Gove has rejected calls for an emergency budget to help people weather the cost of living crisis.

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LBC's Nick Ferrari grilled the minister, saying a lot of people were disappointed by the fact there was very little in Tuesday's Queen's Speech to tackle soaring costs, saying: "You'll be aware that one in 20 homes now have outgoings that vastly exceed their income.

"People are getting closer and closer to what could be called 'struggle street' and nothing forthcoming.

"Do you think we need an emergency budget?

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"Do we need to review the lift in corporation tax, or do we need to cut VAT, Mr Gove?"

The Levelling Up Secretary replied: "No, no, no."

Nick replied: "Why, why, why?"

The MP then said: "I don't think we need an emergency budget, I do think that we need to make sure that we have the right balance between paying down our deficit, keeping the confidence of international markets and keeping interest rates as low as possible, with also targeting help on the very poorest."

He said the Government had already cut council tax for people living in certain property bands and introduced an energy bill rebate scheme.

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"We are also looking - the Prime Minister was convening a Cabinet meeting last night - at other steps that we can take to help everyone," he said.

"Scrapping MOTs is not exactly going to get it done, is it?" challenged Nick.

"People are burning firewood in their houses to keep warm and spending all day driving around in the back seat of a bus, and you're convening meetings."

The Government has been falling under increasing pressure to announce additional measures to help people tackle the cost of living crisis.

Recent months have seen soaring energy prices, record rates of inflation, a council tax increase and a national insurance hike, among other things.

On Wednesday a report from the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) said an estimated 1.5 million UK households will struggle to pay for food and energy over the next year.

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It was hoped that the Queen's Speech on Tuesday would involve a plan to offer more help to people struggling to make ends meet.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said in the subsequent debate that the crisis was the result of the Government's "failure to grow the economy over a decade combined with its inertia in the face of spiralling bills means".

He accused the Government of "complacency" and said: "We have a Government whose time is passed, a Cabinet out of ideas and out of energy, led by a Prime Minister who is entirely out of touch."

Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said the plan "does nothing to help the millions of families and pensioners facing soaring bills and eye watering inflation".

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