Boris Johnson called for urgent action on the crisis of life, stressing that the best way out of poverty was to work, as the boss of a power company warned that 40% of households could soon fall into energy poverty.
On Sunday, some 10 sources confirmed that the Prime Minister will continue to cast a spotlight on the healthy state of the job market in the face of growing noise to help families struggling with their bills.
While ministers have yet to agree on what else to do in the ongoing debate over the merits of a windfall tax, Downing Street is already keen to emphasize the 22 22 billion that has been spent to support families and highlight the need for economic growth. .
Johnson told the Welsh Conservative Conference on Friday: “I am proud to say that you have to go back to 1974 to find a time when unemployment in the UK was as low as it is today, and no matter how difficult it may be. Faced with the post-Covid economy now, I want you to hold on to it for a second. “
However, with wages failing to keep pace with 9% annual inflation, many of those struggling to make ends meet are already employed. Official figures show that 41% of public credit claimants are employed, while the Joseph Rowntree Foundation calculates that 68% of households living in poverty include at least one working adult.
Liberal Democrat economist spokeswoman Christine Jardine said: “Hardworking families across the UK are now really struggling with rising prices for everything from food to fuel. Yet the Conservatives are doing little to help. “He said many people are” working long hours and multiple jobs just to scrap. “
With Parliament dissolving for the Whitson vacation on Thursday, no new package to help families cope with rising inflation is now expected as early as June 6.
The Treasury says the chancellor, Sage Sunak, is waiting for more details on how much the energy bill could rise sharply in the fall.
Michael Lewis, chief executive of E.ON, Britain’s largest energy supplier, said on Sunday that one in eight of its customers was already in arrears. Speaking on BBC One’s Sunday Morning Show, Lewis said: “I regularly read customer emails, I listen to calls and, to be honest, some people are on the edge. They just can’t afford it and it will only get worse. “
The price cap on consumer bills rose to a record high last month, from £ 1,277 to 9 1,971 a year, and is expected to rise to at least 2,600 in October – and Lewis said it could touch £ 3,000. “It simply came to our notice then. We have called on the government to take further action. We need more intervention in October and that will be very important, “he said.
“What we do know is that we are seeing a significant number of people in energy poverty. In fact, more than 10% of their disposable income is spent on energy. “He said that about one-fifth of households are currently living in energy poverty and added:” In October, our model suggested that if the government did not intervene, it would be 40%. Can. “
Former Treasury Secretary Jesse Norman on Sunday became the latest senior Conservative to support a one-time levy on oil and gas companies’ profits, calling the policy “morally ethical and pragmatic.”
A number of cabinet ministers, including the business secretary, Quasi Quarteng, and the Brexit Opportunity Minister, Jacob Rees-Mug, have made their objections public. Reese-Mogg warned against the notion that business is a “sweet pot” that “you can run whenever you feel like it”.
The Foreign Secretary, Liz Truss, among others, has made a public appeal for lower taxes on unusual displays of dissent. Truss said a “low-tax-economy” was a way to deal with the crisis, at a time when taxes were rising.
Sunak did not deny a windfall tax, which polling indicates will be popular with the public, insisting all options will be on the table.
It is understood that one proposal under consideration is a tapered tax that will be less heavy on investing firms, although formula 10 suggests that it has not yet been discussed with the PM.
Johnson and Sunak are meeting regularly to develop a set of policies but have not yet decided whether to stick to the target system to help poor families or include costly proposals across the board. This could include a reduction in VAT or a reduction in income tax that Sunak plans for 2024.
After the chancellor’s spring statement was widely deemed inadequate, ministers have consistently struggled to answer the question of what more the government will do to help families.
A string of Tory backbenchers across the party, including Northern Research Group chair Jake Berry, liaison committee chair Bernard Jenkin and education committee chair Robert Halfon, have called on the government to do more.