Government faces calls for ‘Cost of Living Minister’ as energy bills soar

Ministers are urged to “do everything possible” to help struggling households

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The government faces fresh calls to launch a dedicated ministerial role that would focus on the cost of living crisis as households are struggling to cope with soaring energy bills.

Former Brexit minister David Jones said the Prime Minister should consider appointing a minister that would work as a “champion of the ordinary citizens of this country”.

He said: “Just as the Prime Minister appointed a dedicated vaccination minister to coordinate the response to Covid – another of global proportions – so he should consider appointing a dedicated minister to coordinate the response to the surge in prices.”

A government spokesperson told ELN: “We understand that people are struggling with rising prices, and while we can’t shield everyone from the global challenges we face, we’re supporting British families to navigate the months ahead with a £22 billion package of support this financial year.

“That includes saving the typical employee over £330 a year by raising the National Insurance Contribution threshold, lowering the Universal Credit taper rate to help people keep more of the money they earn, and providing millions of households with up to £350 each to help with rising energy bills.

“The Prime Minister has asked ministers across the entirety of government to focus on doing everything possible to help out as a matter of priority, including increasing take up of support available.”

On Friday, trade association Energy UK highlighted the need for a new Energy Bill that could be included in the much-anticipated Queen’s Speech tomorrow.