UK's Liz Truss still favours tax cuts over direct support on energy bills

FILE PHOTO: Britain's Conservative Party leadership candidate Liz Truss walks during a visit to the Onside Future Youth Zone in London, Britain, August 8, 2022. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez/Pool

LONDON (Reuters) - Liz Truss, the frontrunner in the race to replace Boris Johnson as British Prime Minister, said on Tuesday she still favoured tax cuts to grow the economy instead of providing direct support to households facing unprecedented rises in energy bills.

Charities, business groups and politicians have called on Truss and her rival, former finance minister Rishi Sunak, to set out how they would help Britons cope with a forecast 82% rise in energy prices in October. [nL8N2ZL29R]

Sunak, who as finance minister in May set out a 15 billion pound support package to help households struggling with surging energy bills, has pledged more direct support, while Truss has said she favours tax cuts to handouts.

Asked repeatedly why she was ruling out providing direct support to households, Truss told reporters: "What I don't believe in is taxing people to the highest level in 70 years, and then giving them their own money back."

"I'm not going to write the budget in advance. We'll see what the situation is like in the Autumn, but I'm committed to making sure people are supported."

(Reporting by Kylie MacLellan; writing by Kate Holton; Editing by William James)

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