Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Liz Truss hints at further cost of living support if made prime minister

Liz Truss speaks to scientists during a campaign visit to a life sciences laboratory at Alderley Park in Manchester, as part of the campaign to be leader of the Conservative Party and the next prime minister. Picture date: Wednesday August 10, 2022.
Liz Truss speaks to scientists during a campaign visit to a life sciences laboratory at Alderley Park in Manchester, as part of the campaign to be leader of the Conservative Party and the next prime minister. Picture date: Wednesday August 10, 2022.

Liz Truss has hinted she would consider further support for struggling households if made prime minister, after previously taking a hard stance on “handouts”.

Her opponent, Rishi Sunak, meanwhile told the BBC that the Government has a “moral responsibility” to help struggling households, and pitched himself as the more realistic candidate to be the next premier.

With analysts predicting average annual household energy bills could top £4,200 in January, the cost-of-living issue continues to dominate the exchanges in the battle to succeed Boris Johnson.

The two contenders are set to face further questions from Conservative party members at a hustings in Cheltenham on Thursday evening.

Ms Truss – who has previously opposed further “handouts” – denied that she had ruled out additional direct help for families struggling with soaring energy bills.

While she said her priority is to reduce taxes, she insisted she is committed to supporting working families through the winter.

Speaking to an audience of GB News viewers in Leigh, Greater Manchester on Wednesday, she said: “I will do everything I can to support working families who work hard and do the right thing.

“If I am elected as your prime minister I will make sure the chancellor has an emergency budget and looks at this issue in the round and sorts this issue out.”

Ms Truss also said she would “definitely” give Tory leadership contender Kemi Badenoch a government position if she is made prime minister.

She said: “Kemi, I’ve worked with her as women and equalities minister, you know, we’ve taken on a lot of the agenda of people who were trying to deny that women were women and so on. So I think she’s absolutely brilliant.

“And I would definitely want her as part of my team if I am successful.”

Ms Badenoch was eliminated in the initial stages of the leadership contest as Tory MPs voted for their preferred candidates.

Mr Sunak’s supporters seized on his opponent’s offers of further cost-of-living support, and said that she appeared to be backing away from her previous position.

“This is a major U-turn on the biggest issue currently facing the country,” a campaign spokesman said.

“Taking action means providing direct support, which Truss had previously dismissed as ‘handouts’.”

Conservative leadership bid
Rishi Sunak (Stefan Rousseau/ PA)

Mr Sunak, who has acknowledged he is trailing the Foreign Secretary in the race for No 10, insisted that he would rather lose than promise “false things I can’t deliver”.

As Chancellor in May Mr Sunak announced a £15.8 billion support package. He said that if he became prime minister he would go further.

“I do feel a moral responsibility as prime minister to go further and get extra help to people over the autumn and the winter to help them cope with what is going to be a really difficult time,” he said in a BBC interview.

“I think that is the right priority.”

Treasury Chief Secretary Simon Clarke has confirmed that officials were working on a fresh support package for the next prime minister to consider when they take office.

He said it was “absolutely right” for the new leader to consider “these options in the round” when they take the reins, suggesting they should steer clear of announcing “new uncosted policies” during the election period.

The Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi is due to meet with energy company bosses on Thursday to question them about helping their customers address rising bills.