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Rishi Sunak vows to ‘look at all options’ to ease the cost of living crisis

Rishi Sunak vows to 'look at all options' to ease the cost of living crisis 2

Rishi Sunak vows to ‘look at all options’ to ease the cost of living crisis as the Tories lose nearly 400 council seats in local elections

  • Anxious backbenchers have urged Prime Minister Boris Johnson to cut taxes
  • It comes amid the warning that the economy was heading for a recession
  • Tory MPs say the election losses were a protest vote against the cost of living

Rishi Sunak has vowed to ‘look at all options’ to ease the cost of living crisis after the Conservatives lost nearly 400 council seats in last week’s local elections.

Anxious backbenchers have urged Prime Minister Boris Johnson to cut taxes to prevent a repeat of the losses at the next General Election – and to sack the Chancellor if he refuses to do so.

It comes amid the backdrop of growing alarm within the party over the Bank of England’s warning that the economy was heading for a recession, with inflation set to exceed ten per cent by the autumn and families facing the second-biggest income squeeze since modern records began in 1964.

Writing in today’s Mail on Sunday, Mr Sunak warns that while ‘things will continue to be challenging economically’, he is ‘working with all my Cabinet colleagues to find ways in which we can continue to ease the burden for families’.

Tory MPs say the local election losses were a protest vote against the cost of living and Partygate, with traditional supporters in the South switching mainly to the Liberal Democrats.

Rishi Sunak has vowed to ¿look at all options¿ to ease the cost of living crisis after the Conservatives lost nearly 400 council seats in last week¿s local elections

Rishi Sunak has vowed to ‘look at all options’ to ease the cost of living crisis after the Conservatives lost nearly 400 council seats in last week’s local elections

The Conservatives lost their flagship London councils of Westminster, Barnet and Wandsworth to Labour, although support in the Red Wall seats of the North and Midlands proved more resilient.

So far, Mr Sunak has resisted the pressure for an emergency Budget to reverse last month’s rise in National Insurance.

Today he announces £1.3 billion in military and aid funding for Ukraine, in addition to the existing £1.5 billion of support to the war-torn country – the highest rate of UK military spending on a conflict since the height of the campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In his article, Mr Sunak says that Vladimir Putin’s invasion came as ‘the world’s economies were beginning to wake up from a Covid slumber’ and the UK was ‘beginning to recover from the toll the pandemic took on public finances’.

He writes: ‘I know many families are still struggling with the cost of living and we will look to do all we can to help people with their energy bills in the autumn when we know more about what prices will be then. 

‘While we do everything we can to ease the squeeze for families at home, we have also ensured cash is there to help the Ukrainian people defend themselves and bring this horrific conflict to an end.’

Anxious backbenchers have urged Prime Minister Boris Johnson to cut taxes to prevent a repeat of the losses at the next General Election ¿ and to sack the Chancellor if he refuses to do so

Anxious backbenchers have urged Prime Minister Boris Johnson to cut taxes to prevent a repeat of the losses at the next General Election – and to sack the Chancellor if he refuses to do so

It comes amid the backdrop of growing alarm within the party over the Bank of England¿s warning that the economy was heading for a recession

It comes amid the backdrop of growing alarm within the party over the Bank of England’s warning that the economy was heading for a recession

His move comes after it was revealed that Mr Johnson had personally asked Defence Secretary Ben Wallace to withdraw a letter calling for increased spending on the Armed Forces in the first weeks of Russia’s invasion.

Mr Wallace wrote to Mr Sunak on March 11 warning Britain risked missing a Nato commitment to spend two per cent of national income on security by 2025 because the cost of arming Ukraine and rising inflation meant the UK was facing a real-terms cut in security spending.

Mr Johnson is said to have told Mr Wallace that it was the wrong time to increase defence spending, highlighting the fact that the Ministry of Defence had received a significant settlement in the spending review five months earlier. 

His move comes after it was revealed that Mr Johnson had personally asked Defence Secretary Ben Wallace to withdraw a letter calling for increased spending on the Armed Forces in the first weeks of Russia¿s invasion

His move comes after it was revealed that Mr Johnson had personally asked Defence Secretary Ben Wallace to withdraw a letter calling for increased spending on the Armed Forces in the first weeks of Russia’s invasion

Last night, Mr Johnson said: ‘Putin’s brutal attack is not only causing untold devastation in Ukraine, it is also threatening peace and security across Europe. The UK was the first country to recognise the scale of the threat and send arms to help the Ukrainians defend themselves.

‘We will stand by that endeavour, working with our allies to ensure Ukraine can continue to push back the Russian invasion and survive as a free and democratic country. In the process, we are bolstering our own security and economy, turbo-charging the development and production of cutting-edge defence equipment here in the UK.’

A defence source described the funding as a ‘welcome move to get support to Ukraine’.

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