This week it has been announced that Liz Truss will be taking over as the new Prime Minister. With that comes the huge challenge of tackling this country’s worsening cost-of-living crisis and supporting households that may struggle through the upcoming winter.

In her first speech as Prime Minister, Liz Truss promised to deliver on the energy crisis. As I write this, we are waiting on the announcement that will lay out her plans to do so, with a statement expected yesterday. With energy bills set to rise by 80per cent and inflation at a record high, we can only hope that this new plan will show recognition of the scale of the challenge, and a willingness to address it.

It has been widely speculated that Truss’ plan will include a freeze on energy bills, potentially paid for by additions to customers’ bill in the next couple of decades. While the specifics of the plan have not yet been revealed, she confirmed at in the week’s PMQs that she will not be implementing a windfall tax on big gas and oil companies. By the sounds of it, the Conservative plan to tackle these soaring bills will inevitably fall on the shoulders of the public, rather than large corporations who have made huge profits over the past year.

Prior to the new Prime Minister’s announcement, Labour set out its own plan to tackle rising energy bills. The plan, which would reduce inflation and save each family on average £1,000, includes a freeze on energy bills until at least April 2023, with a proposal for this to be paid for by backdating the windfall tax. In the longer term, Labour would insulate two million homes in the first year to save money on bills further in the future.

During the pandemic, disabled people were treated as an afterthought by the Conservative government. Although this cost-of-living crisis is set to impact everyone, as Shadow Minister for Disabled People I am also greatly concerned about the disproportionate affect that rising bills and inflation will have on the most vulnerable.

New research from SCOPE has revealed the extent to which disabled people will be affected by the cost-of-living crisis. It is estimated that people living with a disability will be twice as likely to have a cold house, as well as be forced to make tougher choices between essential things like stocking the fridge and affording their additional support needs.

At present, the new Minister for Disabled People has not yet been announced. I sincerely hope that Liz Truss makes a strong choice for this position, as disabled people have been overlooked and treated unfairly for too long under the Tories.

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