UK’s Liz Truss vows “robust” energy bill support for households

LONDON (Reuters) -Liz Truss, the frontrunner to replace Boris Johnson as Britain’s prime minister, said she would act immediately to help people cope with surging energy prices that threaten to leave many unable to heat their homes this winter.

“I will also deliver immediate support to ensure people are not facing unaffordable fuel bills. I will be robust in my approach,” Truss, currently Britain’s foreign minister, wrote in the Sun newspaper in an article published late on Wednesday.

Truss has previously said that she did not believe handouts were the best way to help households through the cost-of-living squeeze, and that she favoured cutting taxes, something her rival Rishi Sunak, a former finance minister, and many economists have said would not help poorer families much.

At a final Conservative Party leadership campaign event in London on Wednesday, Truss also said that there would be no new taxes if she wins the leadership contest.

Separately, British finance minister Nadhim Zahawi said the government had prepared a range of cost-of-living support options for the new prime minister – who is due to take office next week – to consider.

Those options included creating a fund to enable energy companies to continue helping customers and providing targeted help to households and small and medium-sized businesses, Zahawi said in an interview with Sky News aired on Thursday.

Last week, he told the Daily Telegraph that options also include handing loans to energy suppliers that could cut energy bills by up to 500 pounds ($579.45) a year.

Zahawi told Sky News he was deeply concerned about the risk of people going cold this winter.

($1 = 0.8629 pounds)

(Reporting by Muvija MEditing by William Schomberg)


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