Crisis talks with energy bosses ended with no new measures to help with soaring energy bills as Boris Johnson insists that it is up to his successor to “make significant fiscal decisions”.
Speaking after the meeting, the outgoing prime minister said he knew it would be a “difficult winter” for people living in the UK and that “we are doing everything we can to support them”.
Johnson has been accused of going "missing" and running a "zombie government" as the country hurtles towards a recession.
I know people are worried about the difficult winter ahead, which is why we are providing support – including a £400 energy bill discount for all households.
This morning I urged electricity companies to continue working on ways to help with the cost of living. pic.twitter.com/sdpLrKfcTN
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) August 11, 2022
While chancellor Nadhim Zahawi said ministers were continuing to monitor the “extraordinary profits” some companies were making, Johnson made clear any “significant fiscal decisions” would be for his successor.
“Following our meeting today, we will keep urging the electricity sector to continue working on ways we can ease the cost-of-living pressures and to invest further and faster in British energy security,” Johnson said in a statement.
Zahawi added: “In the spirit of national unity, they agreed to work with us to do more to help the people who most need it.”
The Treasury said that chancellor Nadhim Zahawi and the energy firms agreed to "work closely" over the coming weeks to ensure that the public, including vulnerable customers, are supported in the face of rising costs.
However, there was no announcement of any immediate new measures to help consumers.
Energy bosses were hauled in front of ministers on Thursday amid nightmare predictions that the average household bill might go up to £5,000 from April after a winter of soaring heating prices.
It is understood that attendees of the meeting include Chris O’Shea, the chief executive of British Gas owner Centrica, Keith Anderson, the chief executive of Scottish Power, and Simone Rossi, the boss of EDF in the UK.
Neither of the UK’s supermajor oil and gas companies, BP and Shell, were among the chief executives in attendance.
Watch: Why are gas prices rising