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'Most pro-business PMQs that I can remember': Lord Spencer praises Liz Truss' debut PMQs clash with Keir Starmer
8 September 2022, 09:36 | Updated: 8 September 2022, 09:46
Lord Spencer: Truss' first PMQs was most pro-business I can remember
Lord Michael Spencer has praised Liz Truss' first appearance at Prime Ministers Questions as the most 'pro-business' debut in his memory.
Lord Spencer told Nick Ferrari: "I think in her debut PMQs yesterday, I would say that she made one of the most pro-business PMQs that I have seen that I can remember.
"To stand up quite clearly several times against the introduction of windfall taxes on the energy industry at a time when obviously the left are calling out for it vigorously and it polls very well, and indeed the energy companies are going to have massive windfall gain.
"For her to stand up so vigorously against it, and by the way windfall taxes are not Tory policy, they are not pro-business, is the most pro-business that I’ve seen for a very long time.
"It’s a very, very encouraging thing to hear."
Oil and gas companies have been pocketing record profits - around £170b over two years - leading to calls for them to foot the bill of high prices instead of consumers grappling with a cost of living crisis.
Asked why customers should foot the bill of the energy crisis while companies make massive profits, he said: "We're going to find out today the scale of the Liz Truss cap on energy which, I think, is going to be something which is very exciting and very radical.
"There's going to be a lot that is funded by the exchequer but Liz Truss' view, and one that I would share, is that we need to achieve in this country, first and foremost, economic growth.
"Without economic growth, we are scuppered. We need economic growth and if we're going to get economic growth we need unabashed, pro-business, pro-investment government and policies attached to it.
"In the same way that Boris used a prorogation of parliament as a statement of his belief in Brexit, she is using this statement on not adopting a windfall tax and reversing the Rishi proposals on National Insurance and corporation tax as her statement of where she stands."
Lord Spencer: Truss is right to back business and oppose windfall tax
Meanwhile, Levelling Up Secretary Simon Clarke, speaking to LBC this morning, defended Ms Truss' decision not to introduce another windfall tax.
Mr Clark said the profits made by the companies were needed in order to allow them to invest in energy sources in the North Sea, in order to make the UK self-sufficient.
"The key principle here is that we cannot tax our way to the investment that we need to see in energy self-sufficiency in the North Sea, and that is at the heart of the Prime Minister's economic framework for this decision," he said.
"These firms are the people we're going to be absolutely relying on to deliver that next generation of North Sea oil and gas extraction... that is why we need these companies to be ploughing out investment in to the North Sea.
"We cannot do what Labour would do which is tax, tax, tax.
"He also said lil and gas companies were already heavily taxed, including a windfall tax introduced earlier in the year."It's not as though these companies aren't paying their fair share," he said.