OUTGOING Prime Minister Boris Johnson has written to Nicola Sturgeon over her demand for an emergency meeting of devolved government chiefs amid the cost-of- living crisis - but refused to set a date.

The Scottish First Minister wrote to Johnson on Monday calling for a summit with the Heads of Government Council to plan for the winter months, amid rising bills and supermarket prices, inflation predicted to hit 13%, and fears low incomes will hit the hardest.

Johnson’s ministers have repeatedly ruled out bringing in any help before his successor is appointed on September 5 - and failed to strike a deal with energy firms on Thursday.

READ MORE: UK Government holding the public to ransom with the cost of living inaction

It comes as Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng suggested the government may be prepared to help businesses cope with soaring energy costs, but not households.

And, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer finally broke weeks of silence over the cost of living crisis by touting a policy that would only save some consumers £46, adding that the rest of his policy commitments will follow over the next week.

We told how the FM wrote to Johnson last week and demanded an emergency meeting of the devolved government heads and the UK government over the cost of living. At the time, Johnson was on a luxury honeymoon break at an eco-hotel in Slovenia.

The National: Johnson has been criticsed for a lack of action during his last months in officeJohnson has been criticsed for a lack of action during his last months in office

She told the “caretaker” PM that a planned meeting of the intergovernmental council for September should be brought forward to deal with the “fast deteriorating” situation.

In a lengthy letter, the FM demanded the council meets “as soon as possible” to discuss steps to help the most vulnerable and plan for the winter months.

The four-nation group is made up of the heads of the UK, Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish governments.

READ MORE: Kwasi Kwarteng plans extra energy bill help for BUSINESSES while UK households suffer

In his written reply on Friday, Johnson wrote: “Thank you for your letter about the increasing pressures being faced by families across the United Kingdom due to rising global prices.

“The Government understands people across the UK are worried about the rising cost of living and are seeing their disposable incomes decrease as they spend more on the essentials.”

Johnson then detailed several policy announcements already made by the government previously, such as the £1200 financial support for the most vulnerable households, and the £400 energy bills discount for households set to come in in October.

The National: The FM wrote to Johnson on MondayThe FM wrote to Johnson on Monday

He continued: “I agree that the response to these pressure will be best served by the UK and Devolved Governments working collaboratively to navigate these challenges together.

"Following our discussion last month, as well as discussions at both the Interministerial Standing Committee and the Finance: Interministerial Standing Committee in June, I have asked my Permanent Secretary for the Union to continue working with your officials to plan for a meaningful Ministerial meeting with Heads of Devolved Governments to consider how to best further support hardworking families.”

Johnson then signed off the letter without suggesting a date or timeframe, adding: “Thank you, once again, for raising this important issue with me”.

READ MORE: UK economy shrinks amid recession predictions, with GDP down 0.1%

It comes as the FM chaired a meeting of the Scottish Government’s Resilience Committee and agreed to an urgent package of measures to tackle the crisis. The committee has agreed to now meet weekly to track the measures' progress.

Announcing the policy, Sturgeon argued that if the UK Government does not act now, with many of the levers of power over the crisis reserved to Westminster, like energy and employment, that lives will be lost.

You can read the full letter from Johnson below.

The National: