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More cash needed to save Britons from destitution in energy crisis - PM contender Sunak

Commodities Aug 13, 2022 06:00PM ET
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© Reuters. Britain's Rishi Sunak meets Tory members at Fontwell Park Racecourse as part of his campaign to be leader of the Conservative Party and the next prime minister, in Fontwell, Britain, July 30, 2022. Joe Sene/Pool via REUTERS

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's energy crisis will push millions into destitution this winter unless the government hands out more cash to help struggling households pay fuel bills, Rishi Sunak, the trailing candidate in the contest to become Britain's next leader, said.

Former finance minister Sunak is up against foreign minister Liz Truss to succeed Prime Minister Boris Johnson next month, when the winner will take charge of an economy facing prolonged recession and battling soaring energy price-driven inflation.

"The first rule of any crisis is to acknowledge that you are facing one. We are facing an energy crisis," Sunak said in a statement on Saturday.

"I will support people that need urgent help to pay their bills this winter. Failure to do this would push millions, including many pensioners, into a state of destitution."

Sunak is seeking to use the public clamour for more help on energy to make his argument against immediate tax cuts more palatable, while his rival continues to argue that lowering taxes as soon as possible is the best way out of the current squeeze.

Sunak has gone beyond Truss by promising to increase an existing 15 billion pound ($18.20 billion) support package aimed at helping Britons cope with energy costs that are forecast to rise by 150% from current levels by April 2023.

Yet opinion polls put Truss far ahead of Sunak in the race to win a majority of votes among members of the ruling Conservative Party who are voting by post, with a result due on Sept. 5.

Truss has faced criticism from political opponents and charities for appearing to rule out further "handouts" and, seeking to appeal to fiscally conservative party members, has not committed to increasing direct payments to consumers.

She says she would do everything possible to ensure people can pay their bills, and has promised to lift some environmental surcharges.

Sunak fleshed out his plans on energy by saying that he would deregulate North Sea fossil fuel production, cut energy waste by insulating more homes, and reform licensing around offshore wind, solar and nuclear energy generation.

($1 = 0.8244 pounds)

More cash needed to save Britons from destitution in energy crisis - PM contender Sunak
 

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Comments (7)
Kris Jay
Kris Jay Aug 13, 2022 11:02PM ET
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Traders say, "oh that's just a problem for UK.  we're immune from that in the US. No problems here.  All clear.  Cramer called June 15th the bottom so its up to the moon from here!! "  yea!!
Roger Miller
Roger Miller Aug 13, 2022 8:45PM ET
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No matter whose in power, more government spending typically means more money printing and more inflation, and ever higher energy prices.  This is exactly what leads to hyperinflation and the collapse of economies.  With it's latest bill, the US is going down the same path, especially more worrisome because it is fast losing it's reserve currency status.
Hi Hi
Hi Hi Aug 13, 2022 8:42PM ET
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Pin is very good
Brad Albright
Brad Albright Aug 13, 2022 7:39PM ET
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Any Brits here have a take on these two?
KK Chan
ckk378 Aug 13, 2022 6:42PM ET
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Easier said than done.
Vincent Rodier
Vincent Rodier Aug 13, 2022 6:29PM ET
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In terms of energy management, the Tory Government have been asleep at the helm since they started. Richie is functionally inept sporting any kind of mental gap when spelling governance.
David Stocks
David Stocks Aug 13, 2022 6:21PM ET
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hey US democrats Sunack has the exact right idea on energy
Brad Albright
Brad Albright Aug 13, 2022 6:21PM ET
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I'm nor sure the situation is the same in the US. Certainly we are not looking at a 150% increase in energy prices. Anecdotally, gasoline where l live went up about 75%, but has fallen by about 25% recently. No change in natural gas or electricity.
 
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