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.

Sunak and Truss urged to act on cost-of-living crisis with PM on holiday again

Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss have been pressed to take action (Jacob King/PA)
Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss have been pressed to take action (Jacob King/PA)

The two Tory leadership candidates have faced calls to tackle the cost-of-living crisis urgently, as questions were asked about Boris Johnson’s second holiday in as many weeks.

Frontrunner Liz Truss and rival Rishi Sunak have been urged to more than double the level of Government support to low-income families to avert a “catastrophe” over the winter.

It came as Sir Keir Starmer unveiled Labour’s £29 billion plan that would freeze the energy price cap at its current level of £1,971 for six months from October, with the aim of saving the average household £1,000.

Seventy charities and community organisations on Sunday signed an open letter to Ms Truss and Mr Sunak warning that families on benefits face a £1,600 shortfall over the coming months despite receiving £1,200 in the last Government support package.

In the letter, co-ordinated by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF), they warned soaring energy bills mean many low-income households are already facing a choice between skipping meals or not heating their homes properly, and the situation is set to get worse.

“Many of our organisations work directly with these families and are becoming overwhelmed, too often unable to provide the support so desperately needed,” the letter said.

“This situation cannot be allowed to continue.

“As the prospective leaders of this country, we urge you to act now to demonstrate the compassion and leadership needed to tackle this issue head on.”

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman on Monday ruled out any plans in Downing Street to co-ordinate a fresh response with the two candidates to the cost-of-living crisis, stressing that the Johnson administration would not be introducing any new fiscal measures in its final few weeks.

Sir Keir attacked the Tory leadership contenders, accusing the pair of lacking any “credible proposals” to tackle the energy crisis.

The Labour leader said that Ms Truss and Mr Sunak had “engaged in an internal battle”, adding: “Their main argument seems to be that their record in Government has been so awful that you ought to vote for one or other of them. It’s very unusual for a Government to be trashing its own record whilst it is still in Government.”

He also said: “On the cost-of-living crisis they’re not saying anything meaningful. We put out a fully costed, comprehensive plan and that answers the question ‘what are you going to do for households this autumn when those prices go up?’

“We haven’t seen anything from the candidates that matches that. Meanwhile, you’ve got Boris Johnson who insisted that he stay in post. We were saying ‘You should go once you resign’. He said ‘No, it’s important to stay in post’.

“He last week acknowledged there’s a real problem with energy prices going up and then said almost in the same breath ‘But I’m not going to do anything about it, that’s for somebody else in the future’. It’s just not good enough.”

It comes as Mr Johnson faced questions about his decision to take another holiday, reportedly in Greece, as the UK faces a winter of economic uncertainty.

His official spokesman told reporters that Mr Johnson had paid for his own holiday and would be kept informed of any pressing Government business while away, being available for any “urgent decisions”.

“As is the way with prime ministers as you know by virtue of their role they’ll obviously be kept informed on any urgent issues and make decisions particularly those (related to) national security for example,” he said.