Boris Johnson admits cost of living support is not enough

Boris Johnson has admitted the current level of government support to help with the cost of living crisis is not enough.

Asked if he believed the help available was sufficient, he said: "No, because what I’m saying what we’re doing in addition is trying to make sure that by October, by January, there is further support and what the Government will be doing, whoever is the prime minister, is making sure there is extra cash to help people."

The prime minister insisted on Friday that hard-hit households can expect extra help to tackle the spiralling cost of living and energy bills, regardless of who succeeds him as Prime Minister.

As Boris Johnson admits the current cost of living support is not enough for those struggling, Shehab Khan takes a look at what help could be promised and when

Inflation has dominated the race to replace Mr Johnson as frontrunner Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak offer competing visions of the best way to ease the pressure on struggling households.

It comes as the latest warning suggested energy bills could top nearly £5,300 by the spring.

He also said the Government had already announced a series of measures designed to support people, but added that not everyone will yet have received that help.

While backing whoever succeeds him as prime minister to deliver extra support, he also appeared to rule out working with the two candidates vying to succeed him to devise fresh measures to tackle the cost-of-living crisis.

Boris Johnson with Jerome Blandin, Chancellor of the Exchequer Nadhim Zahawi and Oriel Petry during a visit in North Wales. Credit: PA

Earlier, Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi said he believed the next prime minister can “hit the ground running” to help hard-pressed families.

He said that his officials in the Treasury are “looking at all the options” for additional help this winter to ensure that either Ms Truss or Mr Sunak have the necessary information to take decisions from September 5.

Mr Johnson said he understood that things are not “easy” for many people, but insisted that there will be further help in the new year.

He told reporters: “The price of energy we’re going to bring down by investment in British supply in renewables, in nuclear and all the other.

“I’m not going to pretend that things are easy for people right now. You’re right to push me because we’re doing everything that we can.

“But there’s more money coming anyway, as a result of the decisions being taken, there will be further help coming in October and in the new year.”

He also said the Government was taking short and long-term steps to address the energy crisis.

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The prime minister said his Government was trying to “undo the tragic mistakes of the past”, adding: “What this Government is doing is now green-lighting nuclear energy when for the whole of the period of the Labour government not a single nuclear power plant was started.

“So, we are doing stuff in the short term and in the medium term and in the long term.”

He also said: “Thanks to the decisions of this Government, we have a robust economic situation in which actually we have virtually record-low unemployment.”

“What we are doing is making sure that we have the fiscal firepower, we have the cash, to help people more at those two key points, in October and January,” Mr Johnson said.

Auxilione’s forecast released on Friday predicted the price cap on energy bills could reach £3,628 in October, from £1,971 today. They add it could then rise again to £4,538 in January and peak at £5,277 in April.

The worst forecast yet comes just 24 hours after Auxilione said regulator Ofgem could be forced to raise the price cap for the average household to £5,038 from next April.

Increases to the price of gas and electricity on wholesale markets are worsening the predicted rises for the cap, but they will fall if energy prices decrease.

It comes as gross domestic product (GDP) fell by 0.1% between April and June, according to new figures from the Office for National Statistics.

Former chancellor Mr Sunak has said he is prepared to find up to £10 billion of extra support – with a vision to cover the total cost for up to 16 million vulnerable people, according to The Times.

It said he valued his cut to VAT on energy at £5 billion, and would find the same amount again to go towards helping the most in need, as he warned: “You can’t heat your home with hope.”

Ms Truss has stood by her tax-cutting plans, saying it is her “first preference” before considering other measures.

The Foreign Secretary has hinted she would consider further support for struggling households, but insisted she will not “write the Budget in advance”.