The battle for leadership of the Conservative party continues with remaining candidates Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss further setting out their economic campaigns should they take charge of the political party and become the 56th Prime Minister for the United Kingdom.
The eventual winner will become leader of the country in a period of great economic uncertainty. Today it was announced that Government borrowing is currently at its second-highest level since records began in 1953, with the surge from inflation taking its toll.
Chancellor of the Exchequer, Nadhim Zahawi acknowledged the financial strain: “We recognise that there are risks to the public finances including from inflation, with debt interest costs in June more than double the previous monthly record.”
Be it Sunak or Truss as Prime Minister, they. will balance on a knife edge trying to ease economic pressure on households.
Tax cuts may help some businesses and May stimulate growth but it could also cause further inflation and so increase the cost of living. “This may limit the ability of the next prime minister to provide more relief for households when a further rise in CPI inflation from 9.4% in June to around 12% in October worsens the cost of living crisis.” explained Ruth Gregory, Senior UK economist at Capital Economics.
As schools break for the summer holidays, there is a looming reality for a bleak autumn and winter ahead for many households.
Cornwall Insight has predicted a rise of the typical fuel bill of more than £1,200 a year by the time of the next energy cap review in October.
Major grocery retailers have been announcing discounts and offers as part of a government campaign to help consumers.
Asda launched a Kids Eat for £1 offer. Any young person up to the age of 16 is entitled to a meal for £1, in any of the supermarket’s cafes across the UK. The original campaign was to run through the school holidays in a bid to offer support to those families in particular that rely on school meals for children. Today Asda announced that the offer would be extended until the end of the year. The offer is not reliant on any other purchase or any accompanying adults buying any meal.
Morrisons has announced a free meal for every child at its in-store cafes when an adult buys a meal worth at least £4.99.
Sainsburys has focussed support in the shopping baskets with a meal deal offer to make at home. Alongside recipes for favourites such as Thai Green Curry & Sourdough Pizza, the supermarket has ensured all ingredients total less than £5.
Chief executive of Sainsburys, Simon Roberts said: “The rising cost of living is at the forefront of customers’ minds, so we are delighted that our Feed your Family for a Fiver campaign is part of the initiative, helping people save money when it matters most.”
The opposition Labour party has challenged the government on the campaign reinforcing that households need “real help’ and calling for more practical support measures.