Labor and the Liberal Democrats have both tabled amendments to the Queen’s Speech, which has been criticized for failing to highlight the cost of living crisis, and includes measures to implement cuts in emergency taxes. However, Tory MPs rejected the amendments on Wednesday, despite figures showing UK inflation hit its highest rate in 40 years at 9%.
Speaking on Sky News, Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey accused the government of ‘dithering and delaying’ and ‘not doing enough’ after admitting he was ‘really worried that people are getting very anxious for the future”.
During Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday, Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer accused Boris Johnson of doing the ‘hokey-cokey’, ruling out a windfall tax on profits and then backing it later.
Sir Keir said: ‘While he dithers, UK households are being slapped an extra £53million on their energy bills every day.
Discussing other money-saving measures, Mr Davey slammed Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak for ‘refusing’ to help Britons.
He said: “Reducing VAT would put money straight back into people’s pockets, and the Chancellor could do that with the stroke of a pen.
“Rishi Sunak’s refusal to do so while collecting billions in additional VAT revenue is a betrayal of pensioners and families feeling the pain of soaring prices.
“People will not forgive this government for refusing to help them in times of need.
“People will not forgive the Tories for refusing to help them in times of need.”
The Liberal Democrats’ amendment included a provision for an emergency reduction in VAT from 20% to 17.5%.
However, the ruling party usually votes against amendments to the Queen’s Speech, which sets out the government’s legislative agenda, as such a move was previously treated as an implicit loss of confidence.
According to the Institute for Government, the last time the executive was defeated in a vote on the Queen’s Speech was when Stanley Baldwin’s minority Conservative government was in power in 1924.
The recent Liberal Democrat political ads, which targeted so-called blue wall voters, were created when Tory MPs rejected proposals to impose a VAT cut.
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Winchester Liberal Democrat candidate Danny Chambers tweeted one of the ads alerting residents that their Tory MP Steve Brine had voted against the emergency tax cuts.
Mr Chambers tweeted: ‘Liberal Democrat MPs proposed a tax cut in Parliament tonight but Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party blocked it.
“Families and pensioners in Winchester need help now.”
The Lib Dems have also posted other ads for their MPs, such as Layla Moran, who tweeted a photo of the ad that read: ‘I just voted for a tax cut to put some money in your pocket”.
A Liberal Democrat source told Express.co.uk: “Tory MPs are looking over their shoulder at the Liberal Democrats.
“They know the Liberal Democrats did something that Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak failed to do: they demanded a tax cut now.
“The choice in the old heart of the Tories couldn’t be clearer after this week’s votes in Parliament.”
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Responding to the criticism, Chief Treasury Secretary Simon Clarke said: “Far from the dire unemployment forecasts from 2020, we instead see unemployment falling back to just 3.7%, below levels before the pandemic and the lowest since 1974.
“That 12 million jobs and incomes were protected during the pandemic, that unemployment is now lower than before the pandemic, that we were the fastest growing economy in the G7 last year, everything this thanks to the prudent economic management of … the Chancellor and this Conservative government. »