8:38 AM September 7, 2022
Labour MPs have called for immediate action to tackle the cost-of-living crisis and environmental challenges as Liz Truss begins her term as prime minister.
Ms Truss spoke outside Downing Street after she returned from Balmoral, where the Queen invited her on Tuesday to form a government.
The phrase “cost of living” was not mentioned in her speech but she stated that her second priority is to deal “with the energy crisis caused by Putin’s war”.
“I will take action this week to deal with energy bills and to secure our future energy supply,” she said.
– Credit: Jane Barlow/PA
The Conservative leader is expected to announce a freeze of energy bills this week and her new chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng, has summoned bank bosses to discuss the new economic strategy, with further cost-of living measures expected this week.
Hampstead and Kilburn’s Labour MP, Tulip Siddiq, told the Ham&High: “With households and families already struggling to make ends meet and unable to afford bills, the number one priority for the new prime minister is to get a grip over the cost-of-living crisis immediately.
“She must start by freezing the energy price cap to save the typical family £1,000 this winter, paid for by extra tax from oil and gas giants who are making eye-watering profits.”
– Credit: Victoria Jones/PA
Westminster North MP Karen Buck said the government has been “missing in action” over the summer.
“We’ve had months when normal government has been effectively suspended and time is running out – pensioners, families and small business owners are already struggling and terrified about what the winter will bring,” she said.
“The financial hardship people face, the stress and the debt, aren’t just immediate threats – they are also storing up longer term problems for physical and mental health.”
– Credit: Polly Hancock
She said Ms Truss “needs to make sure she is not storing up more problems for the future”.
“The Labour Party has already put forward plans for a freeze on energy bills but It can’t be consumers and taxpayers who foot the bill in the long term – the energy companies making staggering profits have to pay their share,” she said.
“And given the other challenges we face- from the war to Ukraine to climate change – we need urgent action to boost clean power, such as renewables, in this country, and to improve our energy efficiency so we have long term solutions to this crisis.”
Catherine West MP said: “Twelve years of the Tories and thousands of people in Hornsey and Wood Green don’t know how they’ll pay their bills this winter. Freezing household energy bills must be the new PM’s top priority, but we also need support for struggling businesses, schools and care homes facing sky high bills.
“I’m alarmed that Truss seems to feel fracking or increasing reliance on fossil fuels is the answer to the energy crisis – it isn’t. We need massive investment in renewables to tackle climate change and increase our energy security.”
Ms West called for the NHS backlog to be addressed. Ms Truss has said putting the “health service on a firm footing” is another priority.
– Credit: Archant
Ms Truss said in her speech: “As prime minister, I will pursue three early priorities. Firstly, I will get Britain working again. I have a bold plan to grow the economy through tax cuts and reform. I will cut taxes to reward hard work and boost business-led growth and investment.
“I will drive reform in my mission to get the United Kingdom working, building and growing. We’ll get spades in the ground to make sure people are not facing unaffordable energy bills and we will also make sure that we are building hospitals, schools, roads and broadband.
“Secondly, I will deal hands on with the energy crisis caused by Putin’s war. I will take action this week to deal with energy bills and to secure our future energy supply.
“Thirdly, I will make sure that people can get doctor’s appointments and the NHS services they need. We will put our health service on a firm footing.”
Ms Truss will face Labour leader and Holborn and St Pancras MP Sir Keir Starmer in her first Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday (September 7).