Transcript of Liz Truss’s pool interview in Kent

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Here is a transcript of Prime Minister Liz Truss’s interview with broadcasters in Kent, on September 30, 2022.

Q: Why are we having to wait for an Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) forecast?

Liz Truss: “What was really important is we acted to help families as soon as we could and what we’re seeing this weekend is the energy price cap guarantee coming in so that a typical family won’t pay more than £2,500 on their energy bills.

“If you remember, we were looking at figures of up to £6,000 so it was important we acted quickly.

“In that timescale, there couldn’t be a full OBR forecast but we are committed to the OBR forecast, we are working together with the OBR. There will be an event on November 23 where the policies are fully analysed by the OBR but it was a real priority to me to make sure we are working to help struggling families.

“We are also dealing with the economic slowdown, which is being felt globally, so that is why we had to act quickly in the circumstances.”

Q: You have been arguing it is as a result of global factors rather than your Government’s policies. That was contradicted by the Bank of England last night. Why can’t you accept this is largely a crisis of your own making?

LT: “It was very, very important that we took urgent steps to deal with the costs that families are facing this winter, putting in place the energy price guarantee, for which we have had to borrow to cover the costs but also making sure that we are not raising taxes at a time when there are global economic forces caused by the war in Ukraine that we need to deal with.

“Of course, we are working closely with the Bank of England, it is very important that monetary and fiscal policy is coordinated and I recognise there has been disruption but it was really, really important we were able to get help to families as soon as possible.

“That help is coming this weekend because this is going to be a difficult winter and I am determined to do all I can to help families and help the economy at this time.”

Q: Can you confirm to people on benefits their benefits will rise in line with inflation?

LT: “The biggest part of the package that we announced was the support for families on energy as well as making sure that we reversed the national insurance rise.

“In terms of benefits uprating, that is something the Work and Pensions Secretary is looking at and she will make an announcement in due course as is the normal practice, for the autumn.”

Q: But the previous administration promised the uprating. Is this likely to change?

LT: “As I said this is something the Work and Pensions Secretary is looking at.

“What is important to me is that we are fair in the decisions we make, but most importantly that we help families and businesses at this very difficult time with their energy prices.

“I had real fears that businesses could go out of business this winter because they were facing unaffordable energy bills.

“We put in place a business scheme, we put in place support for households across the country, that has cost us money but it was important we acted quickly.”

Q: Are you going to lose badly during the next election?

LT: “What is really important to me is we do what we can to support families and businesses this winter. What is important to me is that we get Britain’s economy back on track, that we keep taxes low, that we encourage investment into our country and that we get through these difficult times.

“What we are seeing around the world is we are seeing pressure, the Federal Reserve in America has raised their interest rates, we are seeing pressure on currencies, we are seeing governments announce energy schemes around the world.

“What is important to me is that we support the British public and British businesses through this difficult winter and that is 100% my focus as Prime Minister.”

Q: The coroner in the Molly Russell case has said social media was likely a factor in that death. Can you comment on that please?

LT: “Well, I will look very carefully at that very concerning issue. We do need to make sure, and I am committed to bringing forward and progressing with the Online Harms Bill.”

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