There is ‘no magic bullet’ to solve the cost of living crisis, a minister has warned, as Boris Johnson prepares to ask his ministers to help him find solutions to ease the pressure on household finances.
Armed Forces Minister James Heappey told Sky News there was “no doubt” any Government intervention would be “expensive”, but added that “cumulatively” a series of measures could “start to do the difference”.
It comes like the Prime Minister prepares to meet with top colleagues to discuss “innovative” ways to tackle the cost of living crisis that don’t rely solely on increased government spending.
Politics Hub: Prime Minister urged to offer new ideas to ease cost of living crisis
Many people in Britain are facing rising energy bills, council tax and the effects of a rise in National Insurance tax – as well as inflation hitting a 30-year high of 7% earlier this month.
The government takes the cost of living crisis “seriously”
“There is no doubt that these interventions are expensive – £22 billion of government intervention to help families with their Cost of life is already huge,” he said.
“There will be other levers that the government can pull and, you know, none of them will be a silver bullet.
“But cumulatively, if you can provide people with lots of little savings on their cost of living, then cumulatively it starts to make a difference.
“So I wouldn’t sniff the removal of a tariff on a particular type of food, because if that’s accompanied by a reduction in fuel duty at the pump, which has happened, that’s With an increase in Personal Allowance, an increase in the National Living Wage, cumulatively, you can start seeing and helping people with their energy bills.
“You can start to see how this is starting to take the pressure off the families that are struggling the most.”
Work: emergency budget needed
Work reiterated his call for an “emergency budget” to deal with the rising costs facing households, warning that “skyrocketing” prices are putting pressure on working families.
They say this emergency budget should include a one-time tax on oil and gas companies to help reduce energy bills.
Number 10 said the government was renewing efforts to publicize the ‘strong package’ of financial aid already on offer and warned that ‘private businesses must play their part’ to help cut costs.
Read more: The four simple changes you can make to save £400 on your energy bills
Ahead of Cabinet, Mr Johnson said: “With household bills and the cost of living rising in the face of global challenges, easing the burden on the British people and growing our economy must be a team effort. within the Cabinet.
“We have a strong financial support package to offer, worth £22billion, and it’s up to all of us to make sure that help gets to the hardest hit and hardworking families across the country.
“We will continue to do all we can to support people without letting public spending and debt soar, while continuing to help Britons find good jobs and earn more, wherever they live.”
PM calls for creative ideas
But the Lib Dems have accused the government of being “completely out of ideas”.
“What the British people need now is proper leadership – that means an emergency budget, a cut in VAT and a one-off oil and gas super profits tax,” said the party leader, Sir Ed Davey.
Mr Johnson is said to have asked his cabinet to attend Tuesday morning’s meeting with their proposals to help ease pressure on household pressures.
Read more: Five million households are now ‘energy stressed’ as energy price cap hits nearly £2,000
Mr Heappey told Sky News he could not say whether an action plan to cut the cost of living had been agreed, but stressed the government was taking the matter “seriously”.
“The cost of living has now reached such a point that even well-paid people are struggling to make ends meet and are looking to the government for help with solutions,” he told Sky News.
“Now what they decide in Cabinet this morning is up to them, and it’s certainly not for me to try to follow, but already for this year alone the government has put in £22billion of targeted funding to support those struggling the most with the cost of living.
“And the fact that the Cabinet is meeting today to discuss further shows you how seriously this is taken by the Prime Minister, the Chancellor and others, their Cabinet colleagues.”
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Major supermarkets cut prices to help struggling shoppers
According to new figures released by the Office for National Statistics this week, almost nine out of 10 adults say they have seen their cost of living increase – compared to 62% in November last year.
Yesterday supermarket groups Asda and Morrisons announced efforts to help struggling buyers during the cost of living crisis.
Asdathird supermarket in Great Britain after Tesco and Sainsbury’ssaid it would invest more than £73m to keep prices of more than 100 essentials low until the end of the year.
Items include fresh fruits, vegetables, fresh meat and frozen foods.
Morrisonthe country’s fourth-largest supermarket, said it had cut prices on more than 500 products, including cereals, cooking sauces, chicken and sausages as well as flour, bread and ham.
Asda said prices for affected items would fall by an average of 12%, while Morrisons said its cuts would average 13%.
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