Liz Truss could revive pensioners' petrol voucher scheme
Liz Truss could revive pensioners’ petrol voucher scheme that was reportedly blocked by Rishi Sunak
- Liz Truss wants to bring back plans to give petrol vouchers to pensioners
- Rishi Sunak had blocked the plan and imposed a windfall tax on oil and gas firms
- BP chief Bernard Looney was prepared to put in more than £1billion to the plans
- Petrol prices are beginning to ease thanks to plummeting wholesale rates
Liz Truss will look at reviving a plan said to have been blocked by Rishi Sunak in which oil companies fund petrol vouchers for pensioners.
Downing Street officials held talks with the bosses of big firms on the possibility of a voluntary scheme to ease the cost of living.
Under the proposals, the oil giants would have funnelled some of their profits into a fund that would have been used to help those who are struggling.
Bernard Looney, the chief executive of BP, is understood to have been a supporter of the ideas and was prepared to put in more than £1billion.
Instead of going ahead with the plan as chancellor, Mr Sunak decided instead to impose a windfall tax on oil and gas firms.
‘Rishi blocked it because he is only keen on ideas he thinks of himself,’ a source told the Sunday Times. Last night a source close to Miss Truss said she would look again at the proposals for a voluntary scheme if she becomes PM.
Liz Truss, the Tory leadership favourite, will look at reviving a plan – said to be blocked by rival Rishi Sunak – to fund petrol vouchers for pensioners
The Tory leadership favourite has ruled out imposing a further windfall tax on oil and gas firms, but her camp has said she will not scrap the existing levy introduced by Mr Sunak earlier this year.
Petrol prices are already beginning to ease thanks to plummeting wholesale rates, just weeks after they hit a record high. Wholesale prices fell 10p a litre by the start of July, 20p by the middle of July, and 30p from August 4.
The AA has said prices at the pumps are on course to dip below 160p a litre.
Figures compiled by the motoring group last week showed petrol was on average 175.2p a litre, which is substantially down on the record of 191.5p, set on July 3.
Diesel also appears to be tumbling, from 190.01p a litre a fortnight ago to 185.9p last week. Mr Sunak cut fuel duty by 5p a litre in March but faced ridicule when he posed for a photo opportunity at a Sainsbury’s in London.
It emerged the Kia Rio he was filling up belonged to a supermarket worker. He also struggled with his contactless card.
Mr Sunak cut fuel duty by 5p a litre in March but faced ridicule when he posed for a photo opportunity at a Sainsbury’s in London (above) but it later transpired the Kia Rio belonged to a supermarket worker
Mr Sunak’s supporters last night insisted his campaign is not doomed even as a poll showed Miss Truss holds a commanding lead.
With just three weeks until Britain’s next prime minister is chosen, the Opinium survey put the Foreign Secretary 22 points ahead.
Miss Truss received 61 per cent support, with Mr Sunak trailing on 39 per cent in the poll of 570 Conservative members.
When offered the choice between Boris Johnson remaining in No10 or Miss Truss taking over, some 63 per cent said they would prefer the current PM, while 22 per cent wanted the Tory leadership favourite.
BP chief Bernard Looney is understood to supported plans for oil companies to have funnelled some of their profits into a fund to help ease the cost of living
Even more starkly, 68 per cent said they would prefer to have Mr Johnson over Mr Sunak, who was preferred by just 19 per cent. Allies of the former chancellor yesterday questioned the accuracy of polls as they attempted to put on a brave face.
Asked if the campaign is now ‘doomed’, energy minister Greg Hands, who is supporting Mr Sunak, told Times Radio: ‘I disagree, actually.
‘The feeling we get on the ground, particularly from Conservative member meetings, is very strong and very positive.’
Mr Hands added: ‘I put a bit of doubt on those polls, it’s quite hard to poll the Conservative Party membership because you’ve got to find them and then they’ve got to self-declare.’
It came as The Mail on Sunday revealed the findings of a shock poll that suggested either Tory leadership candidate would be beaten by Labour at the next election.
In the mega-poll of more than 10,000 people by former Conservative deputy chairman Lord Ashcroft, 56 per cent given a straight choice said they would prefer Sir Keir Starmer and Labour to a Conservative government led by Mr Sunak.
In comparison, 55 per cent would prefer a Labour government to the Tories with Miss Truss at the helm.
Writing in The Mail on Sunday, Lord Ashcroft said: ‘The powerful message that it is time for a change will be hard to counter, even among those who rejected Labour so decisively in 2019.’
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