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Truss, a favorite of the British prime minister, promises immediate action on energy

Truss, a favorite of the British prime minister, promises immediate action on energy

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LONDON (Reuters) – British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said on Sunday she would take immediate action in her first week in office to tackle rising energy bills and a surge in energy supplies if she was appointed prime minister, as expected.

The ruling Conservative Party is widely expected to name its new leader and new British prime minister on Monday as the country grapples with what is expected to be a prolonged recession, double-digit inflation and industrial unrest.

It is a long and expensive list for the next leader to replace Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Truss said she would be bold in tackling the faltering economy, reiterating her pledge to spur growth to fix its long list of ills.

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Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, she said she understood how difficult the cost-of-living crisis was for Britons and would take “decisive action to ensure families and businesses can get through this and the following winter”.

“If elected, I plan during the first week of my new administration to determine our immediate actions on energy bills and energy supply,” she said.

“A financial event will follow later this month from my advisors, with a broader package of measures on the economy.”

The Sunday Times quoted sources familiar with the finance ministry as saying the cost of Truss’ plan would easily exceed 100 billion pounds ($115 billion), most of which would be added to government borrowing.

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Pressed in an interview with the BBC about her plan, Truss declined to provide any details, saying it was not appropriate to delve into her exact strategy before she took office. It did not comment on the number of 100 billion pounds.

“I will act if I am elected prime minister in a week,” she said on Sunday’s Laura Koensberg Show.


In the Telegraph, she said her approach would be twofold – immediate action to tackle the cost-of-living crisis and a plan for economic growth. It will also appoint the Council of Economic Advisers to get the “best ideas” for the economy.

She wrote: “We need to make the hard decisions to make sure we’re not in this situation every fall and winter. Sticking plasters and kicking a can on the road won’t do the trick. I’m ready to make the hard decisions to rebuild our economy.” .

Its rival, former finance minister Rishi Sunak, has also sought to hone his credentials to tackle rising energy bills, saying he would give all Britons some financial support, with additional help for low-income people and retirees.

After weeks of tossing around in an often ill-tempered leadership contest, Monday will be the start of a power transition from Johnson, who was ousted as leader after months of scandal drained his party’s support for him.

The winner with the most votes among Conservative members will be announced on Monday, and the following day, the new prime minister will meet Queen Elizabeth and ask her to form a government. Read more

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Besides the immediate cost of living crisis, the new prime minister will also have to contend with a growing number of strikes, long waiting lists in the Public Health Service and next month’s court ruling on Scotland’s independence bid.

In a sign that relations with Scotland could soured if Truss came to power, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she would do everything she could to work with the foreign secretary.

“If she ruled as she campaigned over the summer, it would be a disaster not only for Scotland but for the UK,” Sturgeon told Sky News. “But let’s hope that’s not the case.”

(dollar = 0.8690 pounds)

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(Reporting by Elizabeth Piper) Editing by Angus McSwan

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.