John Lewis chair Dame Sharon White has called on ministers to produce a support package for households struggling with the cost of living squeeze.
The government should be helping families in the way it did to steer the country through the Covid pandemic, the retail boss said on ITV’s Peston programme on Wednesday evening.
Boris Johnson has suggested the government will provide more financial support for struggling households over the coming months, despite calls for immediate intervention.
White said: “The time has absolutely come for action whether it is an emergency budget or whether it is another vehicle.”
She called for ministers to take action before the summer, as another energy price cap hike looms over Brits this October, with bills set to rise even further.
She said: “The decisive action we saw, I thought the government did incredibly well at the pace and scale during Covid, I think we need to see the same decisive action taken at speed and at pace.
“The hit is either going to happen to households, to families, to people on low incomes, or we take a decision that given the scale and everything that’s happening … actually a temporary hit on public finances is worth it.”
A windfall tax on energy titans would be “the right territory”, she added, after giants Shell and BP have posted soaring profits in recent days.
“I think certainly the government and the regulator [Ofgem] need to act on that second rise,” she said.
“Now a windfall tax, it’s not perfect but actually given the severity and the urgency of the situation, I think it’s a reasonable approach.”