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Liz Truss supporter Simon Clarke said it was “absolutely right” that all proposals are available to the new premier when they enter No 10. The Treasury minister said Ms Truss would only make a decision based on all the facts once taking office if she wins the leadership contest. Mr Clarke said: “Of course, the Government is working up a package of cost of living support that the next Prime Minister can consider when they take office.
“It is absolutely right to consider these options in the round when the new Prime Minister has taken office – rather than announce new un-costed policies, without sight of all the details of the pressures people could face, during a leadership election.
“Lowering the tax burden doesn’t only help struggling families with the cost of living – it also boosts economic growth and will help avoid a recession. “And that’s why I back Liz’s plan to reverse Rishi’s NI rise and cut green levies on energy bills.
“Liz has always said that she will look at what more needs to be done. I have no doubt she will do the responsible and honest thing by considering these proposals when in office: making decisions in light of all the facts and the options. That’s what leadership is about.”
The confirmation comes ahead of crisis talks to “knock some heads together” today (THURS) between energy sector bosses and the Government after the price cap was forecast to hit more than £4,200 in January.
Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi and Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng will ask gas and electricity company executives to submit a breakdown of expected profits and payouts as well as investment plans for the next three years.
Fears have been raised that Britain is facing energy blackouts this winter.
But Education Secretary James Cleverly insisted the UK is in a “better position than many” when it comes to domestic energy production.
“It’s not going to be easy, but we are resilient,” he said.
Leaked Government documents set out a “reasonable worst-case scenario” that could see outages for homes and businesses in January if there is a combination of below-average temperatures and a drop in gas imports.
Cornwall Insight said bills are set to soar to around £3,582 in October, from £1,971 previously, before rising even further in the new year.
There has been widespread anger at Shell, BP and British Gas owner Centrica announcing bumper financial results while households struggle with soaring bills.
Mr Cleverly said: “The Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Business Secretary are actually calling in the leaders of those big energy companies to knock some heads together and basically hold them to account about what they’re going to do with those profits.”
Mr Zahawi is looking at options to go further and faster on the government’s windfall tax on the massive profits energy firms are reaping.
The Chancellor said he wants to hear how the firms are committed to investment in gas “because whatever happens we need energy security”.
“The other area I want to look at is some of the energy producers, if you look at the renewable energy producers, the amount that they get paid is linked to gas prices.
“So, they haven’t changed anything they’re doing, they haven’t had any increase in their input costs at all, but they’re getting a much higher return because of the unusually high gas price because of Putin.
“I want to understand what they can do for their customers, what more they can do, because they’re clearly in a place now where they’re making very large profits because of that peg to the gas price.
“I think it’s important we all get round the table, I will continue to do the work I need to do as Chancellor, but I also want to challenge them, to say are you making the investment? How can you help your customers? What more can we do together? That’s the reason for the meeting.”
Both Mr Zahawi and Mr Cleverly sought to ease concerns over blackouts, with the Chancellor saying it would be “irresponsible” of the Government not to develop contingency plans.
He added: “But by working with the sector, having an energy strategy that Kwasi Kwarteng has worked up and has delivered really, really competently, means that I don’t think we’ll be in that world, in that space.”
Greg Jackson, founder of energy company Octopus Energy, said households are “safe” from possible blackouts this winter.
He added: “I think the reality is that domestic supply is safe and that industry, from time to time – sometimes driven by prices, by the way – voluntarily reduce their energy usage.
“So we have a terrible price crisis, but I think the UK is more fortunate than many of our European neighbours that we’ve got more resilient supply.”
Consumer champion Martin Lewis called on the two Conservative leadership candidates to set out how they will tackle the energy crisis to alleviate the “mental health damage” facing millions in the UK.
He said: “What we’re facing here is a financial emergency that risks lives.
“I accept the point that Boris Johnson is running a zombie Government and can’t do much, but the two candidates – one of them will be our prime minister – they need to get together in the national interest to tell us the bare minimum of what they will do.
“What we need to hear now – because the mental health damage for millions of people who are panicked about this is manifest – is we need to hear accurate plans.”
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