Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi working to tackle cost-of-living crisis

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In a conference call with 50 MPs, he said there is a need to be “a bit more dynamic” in the way long-term planning is carried out.

Mr Zahawi said the Treasury is still working on a raft of proposals that could be adopted by the next Prime Minister.

He warned there are “no easy options” for dealing with the position the country is in.

But he said the challenges are Europe-wide and it is “vital” that Russian President Vladimir Putin is not allowed to use energy “as a weapon to divide us”.

Mr Zahawi invited MPs to quiz him to help reassure them that the government is working full tilt to tackle the challenges the country is facing.

Concerns about how small businesses will cope with big energy bills was one of the key worries raised on the call.

MPs were also keen to have ways of “getting money to the people who really need it”, a Treasury source said.

Labour is demanding parliament is recalled early in order to tackle soaring energy bills.

The party wants MPs to return on August 22 ahead of the new energy price cap being set.

Shadow Commons leader Thangam Debbonaire wrote to Prime Minister Boris Johnson saying action was urgent.

She said: “Against the backdrop of a rise in inflation to 10.1%, this won’t just send households into a further spiral of worry, pushing them to cut back even further ahead of the winter. But it will create another shock for our economy. With businesses and households on the brink, we cannot wait to act.”

A Government spokesman said: “The Government is continuing to focus on delivering for the public.”

“While fiscal decisions for the coming months will be for the next prime minister, we are continuing to support people.”

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