The prime minister has described Britain’s energy crisis as a “short-term problem” and said he does not think there will be disruption to food supplies at Christmas.
Speaking to Sky News political editor Beth Rigby in New York, Boris Johnson said: “There is a short term problem caused by the hydrocarbon price spike, the gas price spike, caused basically by the huge demand in Asia.
“The market is going to start fixing it, but in the meantime the government will do everything we can to help people, to help fix it, to make sure that we smooth things over.”
Soaring global gas prices have thrown the industry into crisis, with warnings that a number of energy companies could go bust in the weeks to come.
Meanwhile, the energy price cap is set to rise from next Friday to £1,227, a record level.
This means many families will face a double whammy of rising energy bills and the end of the £20-a-week uplift in Universal Credit.
Mr Johnson’s comments come after one of his ministers acknowledged earlier that hard-pressed families will face a “difficult winter” as a result of these two factors.
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said it was “a difficult situation” and he had spoken to cabinet colleagues, including Chancellor Rishi Sunak, about the pressures confronting households.
The energy crisis is having a knock-on effect in other areas, with food producer Bernard Matthews warned Christmas dinner could be “cancelled” as the sharp rise in gas prices meant two large fertiliser plants, which produce CO2 as a by-product, have shut.
And asked about potential disruption to Christmas, the PM replied: “I don’t think we’re going to have any problems on that scale.”Internet Explorer Channel Network