Michael Gove makes 'silly voices' as he rejects emergency budget to fix cost of living

Michael Gove was attacked for 'making jokes' while people struggle to get by. Credit: PA

There will be no emergency budget or windfall tax to fix the worsening cost-of-living crisis, Michael Gove has said, despite desperate families crying out for immediate help.

The levelling up secretary rejected criticisms there was nothing in the Queen's Speech to address rising costs but agreed policies designed to grow the economy "will take time to pass".

But campaigners want the government to use an emergency budget to offer immediate support to struggling families but when Mr Gove was asked whether one was possible, he said: "I don't think there is any need."

Mr Gove faced criticism for dismissing the prospects of an "emergency budget" with an impression of an American newsreader, before mimicking the Treasury, saying "Calm down" in a mock-Scouse accent.

Lisa Nandy, his Labour shadow, tweeted: "What is he doing!? Making jokes and using silly voices while families across the country are struggling to survive.

"This isn't a game (or an Oxford Union debate!). People are having to choose between heating and eating."

The cost of living is rising at an alarming rate, families are struggling to cope through the crisis, and Britons this year are facing the biggest drop in living standards since records began in 1956.

Household energy bills have soared to a record-high, inflation looks set to join it at 10%, taxes are going up, and the UK is expected to enter a recession later this year.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, who is among those calling for an emergency budget, called the government's response to the cost-of-living "pathetic".

The Child Poverty Action Group said there was "no short-term comfort for parents struggling to feed their kids in the face of rocketing prices".

Will the government's cost-of-living solutions help people? Economics Editor Joel Hills explains:

Mr Gove told ITV News there are other measures the government will take to help people but did not elaborate on what they could be, adding: "What there is a need for is all of us in government to think all the time about how we can help people in difficult circumstances."

"I don't think we should rule anything out," the senior minister said, but when asked whether a windfall tax on oil and gas profits could be brought in, he said: "No."

The government has been rejecting calls from Labour for a windfall tax, saying it would deter big energy firms from investing in the UK.

Boris Johnson's legislative plan for the year was set out in the Queen's Speech on Tuesday but, amid intense criticism for not using it to outline cost of living support, said there would be more help announced "in the days to come".

Michael Gove responds to cost-of-living questions:

The Treasury quickly denied the suggestion, while No 10 conceded more support should not be expected in the "next few days", indicating the prime minister misspoke.

Asked why his boss made the comment, Mr Gove told ITV News it's because "every day we're looking at new initiatives and the prime minister convened a meeting of a Cabinet committee last night to ask every government department what progress is being made in identifying new ways of supporting people".

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey said the Queen's Speech "does nothing to help the millions of families and pensioners facing soaring bills and eye-watering inflation".