Liz Truss’ False Energy Bill Cap Claim has Misled Public, Poll Finds
Six in 10 voters believe the Prime Minister’s false claim that the Government is capping total household energy bills at £2,500 a year, reports Adam Bienkov
The public are being misled by Liz Truss’ false claim about capping total household energy bills from next week, a new Omnisis poll for Byline Times suggests.
The Prime Minister was rebuked by independent fact-checkers on Thursday after repeatedly making the false claim that households would pay no more than £2,500 a year for their energy.
“We have taken action by the Government stepping in, making sure that nobody is paying fuel bills of more than £2,500,” Truss told BBC Radio Kent. She went on to repeat the claim on other local radio stations over the course of the morning.
However, under her Government’s plans, which will come into force next week, only the unit price of electricity will be capped – meaning many households will in fact pay well in excess of the £2,500 figure quoted by Truss.
Downing Street has yet to correct the Prime Minister’s false claim. However, new polling by Omnisis for Byline Times suggests that a clear majority of people listening to the Prime Minister’s claims will have believed her.
According to the poll, 58% of those surveyed said they understood Truss’ statements to mean that their bills will be capped at £2,500; with just 42% saying that they instead believed there would be no such absolute cap.
The chief executive of Full Fact told Byline Times that the Prime Minister must stop misleading the public.
“The Prime Minister must correct the record to avoid misleading people and ensure they are not hit by unaffordable and unexpected energy bills”, Will Moy said.
“The evidence is that significant numbers of people are confused about what the guarantee means for them, and that could be a very costly confusion.
“More than that, the PM is asking for people’s trust – and trust is earned.”
Conservative MPs Fear Liz Truss isPushing the UK to DisasterAdam Bienkov
A Budget for the Wealthy
Omnisis’ findings also suggest that the fallout from last week’s mini budget has badly damaged public trust in Liz Truss’ handling of the economy.
According to the polling, almost seven in 10 voters do not have confidence in the Prime Minister to manage the economy during the cost of living crisis. Meanwhile 63% of those surveyed said they do not believe her claim that cutting taxes for corporations and wealthy individuals will grow the economy.
The Government’s plans to scrap the top rate of tax, cut corporation tax and lift the cap on bankers’ bonuses also appear to have damaged the Government’s reputation.
Sixty-seven per cent of those asked said that the mini budget would “deepen inequality”, while 81% said that the Government should instead be making the richest in society pay more.
Overall, 66% said that the budget would help people on higher incomes, compared to just 10% who said that it would help people on lower incomes. Just 4% said it would help people living in poverty.
The mini budget also appears to have damaged public belief in the Government’s ‘levelling-up’ agenda. Seventy-two per cent of those asked by Omnisis said they don’t believe the Prime Minister now cares about the issue.
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Truss’ Government sold its mini budget on a claim to be taking advantage of the supposed “opportunities” of Brexit. However, today’s polling also found that most voters believe that the UK’s exit from the EU has left the country worse-off.
Sixty-two percent of those surveyed said they believe the UK would be better-off if it was still a member of the EU.
Public confidence in the Government’s handling of Brexit also remains low, with 73% saying they believe that the Government is handling it badly.
Public support for rejoining the EU is also high, according to the poll – with 61% of voters saying that they would vote for Britain to re-join the bloc if another referendum was held today.