Liz Truss denounced giving "subsidies" to struggling Britons amid rising costs of living as deepening "Gordon Brown economics".
The 'frontrunner' of the Tory leadership has repeatedly criticized former Prime Minister Brown. He is the former prime minister who made a earnest plea earlier this week for the Tories to unite and tackle the crisis before the children went hungry. After claiming she wouldn't rule out helping millions of Britons, she was accused of making a second U-turn in the contest over handouts.
Tonight she spoke at her Tory hustings event in Darlington and seemed to downplay the idea of handouts.
When asked how he would deal with rising fuel prices, Truss told the audience: I understand people struggle with their fuel and food bills, but the first thing we as Conservatives should do is help people have more money of their own.
and give it back to them in handouts.To me it's Gordon Brown's economics.''
She added: , I didn't get a new job in places like Darlington. This is one of the reasons why people voted Conservative.
``They voted Conservative because they want to see business, they want to see new opportunities. It is very important not to do so, and it is important to keep taxes low and abolish these: EU rules that discourage investment in our country."
Rishi Sunak earlier said he thought it was "wrong" for Mr. Truss to "exclude direct support for families." He even claimed he would be welcome to sit down with his rival prime minister to hammer out an emergency aid package before the surge. 43}
But Truss dismissed the idea as "strange."
The former prime minister suggested targeting assistance to the most vulnerable, rather than providing more cash payments to all households.
Mr Sunak, speaking at a Tory party summit in Darlington, asked if he was willing to spend an additional £15.3 billion to help families with rising costs of living. He said: What we're talking about now is an extra increase on top of what we were thinking of, so it's necessary.
"At the time we announced support, he thought the bill would be £3,000."
He added: It is right to target those who need our help the most.