Liz Truss has promised economic reform to help people cope with soaring fuel and food prices
Britain faces a “difficult winteramid rising fuel and food prices, Prime Minister candidate Liz Truss admitted on Friday, adding that “business as usual policies do not work” and therefore special measures should be taken to prevent a recession.
In an interview with Sky News, the Conservative leadership hopeful spoke about the emerging energy crisis, which has been exacerbated by anti-Russian sanctions and a dwindling supply of natural gas from Russia to Europe. Although the UK is not directly dependent on Moscow for fuel, it is still suffering from rising energy prices and the rising cost of living.
“I know it’s going to be a tough winter, I want to do everything I can to make sure we release the gas reserves in the North Sea,said Truss, who is currently Foreign Secretary.
The UK’s energy and cost of living crisis continues to escalate, with annual household bills expected to top £3,300 ($3,971) this winter, according to energy consultant Cornwall Insight. Up to six million British homes could face power cuts this winter if Russian gas supplies to Europe cut off, The Times reported on Sunday, citing a Whitehall document.
When it comes to helping Britons pay their fuel bills, Truss has pledged to impose a temporary green energy tax moratorium.
“Business as usual policies are not working, we need to do more and that is why I am determined to reform the economy and keep taxes lowsaid Truss, who previously pledged £30bn in tax cuts.
Among other priorities, she mentioned lowering the cost of National Insurance which she said would be “put more money in people’s pockets.
Truss’s competitor, former UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak, has criticized his budgetary approach. He claims that the proposed tax cuts could lead to entrenched inflation, which “be incredibly damaging to millions of people across the UK.
The winner of the leadership race will be announced on September 5, after a postal vote of around 150,000 Conservative Party members.
Meanwhile, the coming winter is also a matter of deep concern for EU officials. Earlier this week, the bloc’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, warned that the EU could run out of gas during the upcoming cold season.
“Europe faces a perfect storm: energy prices are up, economic growth is down and winter is approaching,” he said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin dismissed Western accusations that Moscow could cut gas supplies to the EU, saying Russian energy giant Gazprom was “ready to pump as much as needed“but that the EU had”closed all themselves.He previously called the bloc’s sanctions against Russia “crazy and thoughtless,and accused EU leaders of committingsuicideunder orders from the United States.
Even before the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, British consumers were experiencing steep increases in energy costs. The price cap announced by regulator Ofgem in early February, which came into effect in April, marked a 54% increase on the previous rate.