A looming energy & cost of living crisis could erupt into the biggest political issue of the decade, senior Tories have warned.
The energy price crisis, broader inflationary pressures and a double-whammy of tax rises and benefit cuts threaten to create a challenging winter for Britons. A study by the Legatum Institute warned that ending the uplift to Universal Credit next month will push a further 800,000 people into poverty.
Damian Green told the BBC that the cost of living was “an argument we have forgotten about because we have now had a generation of low inflation”, but noted “it can be the biggest political issue out there.”
The Conservative MP for Ashford added: “The paradox is that many of us thought we would come out of the pandemic with big employment issues and a very sluggish economy.. [but] we are facing a big global inflation problem, which I suspect will become the biggest political issue for the coming decade.”
Gavin Barwell, a Conservative peer who served as chief of staff under Theresa May, warned the rise in energy prices “definitely has the potential to become a crisis”.
He added: “We’ve got the tax increases that they’ve just brought in, we’ve got the Universal Credit reduction that’s about to come online, plus rising energy bills. I think there is a real political danger here of cost of living issues becoming a real difficulty for the Government.”