The government is trying to do everything it can to tackle the cost of living “storm” but cannot solve every problem or save every business, a business minister has told Sky News.
Paul Scully played down the immediate likelihood of tax cuts to help struggling households as he stressed the “tight” public finances and burgeoning national debt after the pandemic.
After the resignation of Boris Johnson’s ethics adviser, Lord Geidt, Mr Scully also insisted the prime minister wanted to draw a line under the partygate scandal arguing people were more worried about soaring costs and the squeeze on their finances.
Mr Scully said: “We are trying to do everything we can to tackle the cost of living issue. This is a global situation.
“We have got to do everything we can to weather that storm.”
Though he highlighted the support provided by the chancellor, Mr Scully warned: “The government can’t solve every problem. It will not be able to save every business and work with everybody’s individual costs but we will do everything we can within the remit of keeping public finances tight as well.
“Because we are serving our national debt. We are paying something like £85bn just to service our debt – not to go to schools, hospitals.”
He also insisted talk of tax cuts would have to wait until the autumn budget.
Mr Scully claimed it was a low tax government despite overseeing highest tax burden in 70 years.
He said: “The party’s general principle is to have low taxes
“What I don’t want to do is right a budget months ahead.
“There won’t be tax cuts now because that will dealt with at a budget in the autumn.”
Pressed over the departure of Lord Geidt, who said in his resignation letter that he quit after being left in an “impossible and odious position”, Mr Scully said the prime minister was looking to move on.
The minister said: “He rightly wants to draw a line under so-called partygate because people are worried more about the cost of living, what it’s going to mean for their mortgages and their bills in the days and months ahead.”