Liz Truss asked if she 'enjoys chaos' during frosty interview
Indy

Spare a thought for Liz Truss.

She's only been the prime minister for around a month and in that time she's had to handle the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, plunged the pound after outlining fiscal policies that were Absolutely Not A Budget, u-turned on plans to scrap the 45p rate of tax, made Labour climb in the polls, and distressed enough MPs that reportedly, they are already sending in letters of no-confidence.

Now, her party are arguing about benefits.

Why? Because Truss has refused to confirm her plan for benefits and whether they will increase in line with inflation, unlike previous prime ministers including Boris Johnson (remember him?).

Asked about the issue on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, she just said her government had to be fiscally responsible. ”We are going to have to make decisions about how we bring down debt as a proportion of GDP in the medium term,” she said.

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”I am very committed to supporting the most vulnerable; in fact, in addition to the energy price guarantee we’re also providing an extra £1,200 to the poorest households. So we have to look at these issues in the round, we have to be fiscally responsible."

And while she is being vague, some of her MPs are speaking out, criticising any potential moves not to guarantee the provision of benefits.

Cabinet minister and one-time leadership contender Penny Mordaunt broke ranks to call for payments to rise in line with soaring inflation.

"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," she told Times Radio.

Mel Stride, who chairs the Commons Treasury Committee, said he "would have to think long and hard" about whether to vote for uprating benefits in line with wages instead because of the "strong real-terms squeeze on those benefits already".

Former Tory leader William Hague said the “political reality” meant Truss would have to change course on benefits. “The government will end up being defeated in parliament if it didn’t upgrade benefits with inflation in these difficult circumstances over the coming year,” he said.

Michael Gove has also spoken out in support of increasing benefits in line with inflation and former Work and Pensions Secretary Damian Green told the BBC the policy would "probably not" get through the Commons.

So as with the 45p tax band, it looks like Truss can't command the support of her party and might have to compromise on her ideological mission to make the UK absolutely s**t.

So spare a thought for Liz Truss. But just one.

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