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Liz Truss Promises Announcement On Energy Crisis Within "One Week" Of Becoming PM

Liz Truss appearing on Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg (BBC)

4 min read

Liz Truss, who is widely expected to win the Conservative leadership contest, has pledged she will make an announcement on support for energy bills “one week” after she enters Downing Street.

Appearing on the BBC’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg, the frontrunner promised she would “act immediately on energy bills and on energy supply”.

Pushed on how soon the public could expect an announcement, Truss confirmed that she would flesh out what support she would offer in her first weeks as Prime Minister.

“What I can say is that if I'm elected as Prime Minister, within one week, I will make sure there is an announcement on how we are going to deal with the issue of energy bills and of long-term supply to put this country on the right footing for winter,” Truss told the BBC.

Asked to elaborate on what form the support for households and businesses could take, she continued: “Before you have been elected as Prime Minister, you don't have all the wherewithal to get the things done. 

“This is why it will take a week to sort out the precise plans and make sure we are able to announce them and that is why I cannot go into details at this stage.”

Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, Truss also said she did not want to introduce temporary solutions to the energy crisis.

“We need to take the difficult decisions to ensure we are not in this position every autumn and winter. Sticking plasters and kicking the can down the road will not do,” she said.

Sources close to Truss, who is currently foreign secretary, suggested to the Sunday Telegraph that she would embark on a “two-track approach”, tackling the short-term pressure on households and the long-term issue of energy supply.

She had faced criticism early in the Conservative leadership campaign for rejecting the idea of government “handouts” to tackle the cost of living crisis and suggesting tax cuts on energy bills as a potential solution.

Speaking at a leadership hustings in Darlington in August, she told supporters: “I am not going to say in the middle of August what is going to be in a budget later this year. But what I am saying philosophically is I always favour people keeping more of their own money first.

“And what I think is completely wrong is the idea that we take huge swathes of people’s money … and then give it back to them and then claim it’s a giveaway.”

Former chancellor and fellow leadership contender Rishi Sunak. however, has called for direct support for all households and told the BBC on Sunday he had a "clear plan and framework".

He said there were "three groups of people" he'd like to offer support to: the general public, low income households, and pensioners.

"What I said I would do is provide direct financial support," he said.

“I announced some of that as chancellor, I will go further as prime minister, as the situation has deteriorated.

"And we will do that with direct payments using both the welfare system and the system we have to pay pensioners their winter fuel payment over the winter.”

He also urged the government not to rule out energy rationing this winter, claiming it would be "responsible" to consider all options.

"We shouldn't rule anything out because the situation is serious," Sunak continued.

“And we need to make sure that we get through it and we need to have every tool in the toolbox and that certainly – as we're seeing in European countries – is certainly one of them.

“That sounds like quite an extreme thing to say when we say blackouts, but there are probably simpler practical things which are about just conserving the use of energy at a time when we're facing a challenge like this, which should remain a tool in the toolbox."

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