Ministers to hold crisis talks with gas and electricity bosses over cost of living

Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi and Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng are due to meet energy chiefs. Credit: PA

Ministers are due to hold talks with energy giants on Thursday to discuss measures to ease the cost-of-living crisis after the price cap was forecast to hit more than £4,200 in January.

Energy sector chiefs will reportedly take part in crisis discussions with Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi and Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng about rising prices and the sector's profits.

Gas and electricity bosses will be asked to submit a breakdown of expected profits and payouts as well as investment plans for the next three years, according to the Sun.

The reports come after Cornwall Insight predicted that bills are set to soar to around £3,582 in October, from £1,971 on Tuesday, before rising even further in the new year.

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There has been widespread anger at Shell, BP and British Gas owner Centrica announcing bumper financial results while households struggle to cope with soaring bills.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss branded as “bizarre” proposals to agree support for rising energy bills with the government and Rishi Sunak before the Tory leadership contest is over.

The front runner in the race to succeed Boris Johnson as prime minister made the comments as she and her opponent faced growing calls to spell out how they will deal with a spike in energy prices.

The government has already promised £400 to every household and extra help for the more vulnerable.

On Monday, Scotland’s First Minister called on Mr Johnson to move a proposed meeting between the heads of the UK’s governments from September to this week to address the cost-of-living crisis.

Charities have warned that many lower-income households could have to choose between eating and heating their homes in the colder months of the year, with a recession predicted in winter.

Household budgets are being squeezed as Russia's invasion of Ukraine has helped raise the price of food, with companies facing increased costs for things like fuel, wages and ingredients.

UK inflation - the rate at which prices rise - hit 9.4% in June, the highest level for more than 40 years.