Downing Street has been forced to deny that they are planning an emergency budget to help with the cost of living crisis after Boris Johnson appeared to hint at further help for struggling people.
The Prime Minister told the House of Commons that he and the Chancellor would say more on the matter “in the days to come”.
This led to speculation that Rishi Sunak may deliver a budget to help people manage soaring bills.
However, sources close to the Chancellor insisted no new measures were due before autumn, according to reports.
Cabinet minister Michael Gove said today (11 May) that Mr Johnson’s suggestion was “overinterpreted”.
What did Boris Johnson say about the emergency budget?
Following the Queen’s Speech on Tuesday (10 May), the Prime Minister came under fire for failing to announce fresh help for those struggling during the current cost of living crisis.
The speech contained 38 bills but no immediate plans for dealing with the cost of living.
In the House of Commons, he said: “My right honourable friend the Chancellor and I will be saying more about this in the days to come.
“But at the same time as we help people, we need the legislative firepower to fix the underlying problems in energy supply, in housing, in infrastructure and in skills which are driving up costs for families across the country.
He added: “And this Queen’s Speech takes those issues head on.
“And above all, we are tackling the economic challenges with the best solution of all and that is an ever growing number of high wage, high skill jobs. Jobs, jobs, jobs.”
A Treasury spokesman said immediately after the PM’s comments that there would be no emergency budget, while No 10 conceded that there should not be an expectation of support in the “next few days”.
What did Michael Gove say?
The Levelling Up Secretary said that claims of a split between Mr Sunak and the Prime Minister over the need for more financial support were “overinflated”.
Mr Gove told Sky News: “There won’t be an emergency budget. It is sometimes the case that the words from a Prime Minister or minister are overinterpreted.
“The Prime Minister is right. We will be saying more and doing more in order to help people with the cost-of-living challenge we face at the moment, but that doesn’t amount to an emergency budget. It is part of the work of government.”
He added: “Last night the Prime Minister convened a group of ministers – we have all done work on some of the things we could do to help.
“Those policy initiatives will be announced by individual departments in due course as they are worked up.”
What have government sources said about the Prime Minister’s plans?
HuffPost UK reported that a source close to the Prime Minister said “there are no plans for an emergency budget.”
However, he said “ministers have been challenged to explore every possible avenue for easing the cost of living and meetings on that basis are taking place all the time.”
The source added: “There is also a regional cabinet on Thursday that will focus on some of this but it would be wrong to build up expectations of a major moment.”
One ally of the Chancellor told HuffPost UK there were “no announcements as far as we are aware”.
They added: “Rishi has always been clear that we would set out plans for support on energy bills for autumn when we know what the [energy] price cap is going to be - but we’re not there yet.”