(Bloomberg) -- Boris Johnson’s government will set out fresh support for Britons struggling with a record squeeze on living standards on Thursday, seeking to move on from a damning report into illegal parties in Downing Street and confront a cost-of-living crisis that may eventually prove more threatening to his political future.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak will reveal a comprehensive response to help households facing soaring bills, a Conservative Party official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. Sunak’s offer, which will be partly funded by a windfall tax on the profits of oil and gas companies, won’t be a one-off and there is more support in the works, the person said. The Treasury declined to comment on Sunak’s expected announcement.

Johnson’s pivot to focus on the cost-of-living follows a bruising day when a long-awaited civil service report slammed the prime minister, holding him responsible for a string of gatherings which saw staff members drinking heavily, singing karaoke and in one instance even vomiting, all while the rest of the UK was under strict coronavirus restrictions. 

The prime minister said he was “humbled” by her conclusions but urged the country to let his government focus on other issues such as boosting the economy and responding to Russia’s war in Ukraine. 

Containing a historic surge in global prices may test all the famed resilience of a leader who has been regularly distracted by his own political problems as the pressure on British families has risen over recent months. The UK is on track to be the advanced nation worst hit by a combination of soaring inflation and weak growth, with prices expected to rise 13% over this year and next, the most among the Group of Seven countries.

Read More: Stagflation Nightmare Hits UK as Prices Soar and Growth Slows

“It’s a complex, big-picture issue that requires a serious, substantive response,” said Alice Lilly, senior researcher at the Institute for Government, a think-tank. “Going from discussing vomit in Downing Street to these really important issues is going to be a challenge.”

Johnson has been under persistent pressure for months to announce extra help to alleviate the cost-of-living burden, with his government facing accusations of being out-of-touch and unsympathetic to voters’ concerns. He’s faced particular calls to introduce a windfall tax on the large profits of oil and gas companies to pay for extra support, which he’s so far resisted, saying its out of sync with his Conservative values.

The Treasury has carefully considered the arguments for such a tax and officials want to make sure the benefits are worth the hit to the UK’s reputation as a stable, low-tax jurisdiction and to minimize the threat to investment, the Conservative Party official said. Economic help will be targeted at the most vulnerable households, the official added.

The need for a cost-of-living support package became more urgent this week when UK energy regulator Ofgem said Britons face another sharp jump in their power and gas bills just before the winter. The energy price cap is due to rise to a record £2,800 ($3,520) in October, a 42% increase that would send 12 million households into fuel poverty.

Read More: UK Utilities Plunge on Reports Sunak Working on Windfall Tax

Johnson is also under pressure to act given a difficult electoral outlook that may only worsen as the UK’s inflation crisis develops. A YouGov poll published May 20 showed the opposition Labour Party with an eight-point lead over Johnson’s Conservatives. Labour have been ahead of the Tories in YouGov’s polling since late December. Johnson’s Tories also performed poorly in local elections earlier this month, where they lost ground in the Conservatives’ southern heartlands. Another YouGov poll on Wednesday said 59% of Britons think Johnson should resign as prime minister in the wake of the Sue Gray report.

The lack of any major new revelations led several Conservative Members of Parliament to dismiss the report as a damp squib, saying that it hadn’t threatened Johnson’s position. Only one new MP came out and called for Johnson to resign following the report’s publication.

But another of his regular critics raised a more serious threat for the Tories: that Johnson survives Partygate only to lead them to defeat in the next election, expected in 2024.

“Can we win the general election on this current trajectory?” Tory MP Tobias Ellwood asked in the Commons. “If we cannot work out what we’re going to do, the broad church of the Conservative Party will lose the next general election.”

On the cost-of-living, Sunak has a range of options that go beyond his existing £22 billion package of support. They include:

  • One-off payments to welfare recipients
  • Cutting value-added tax on energy bills
  • Increasing the so-called warm-homes discount (actually a government loan), which reduces the energy bills for poorer households
  • Scale up already announced interventions, such as a £150 council tax rebate and the 5 pence cut to fuel duty

The Times on Wednesday night reported that the £200 energy loans will be converted into grants.

Johnson apologized to his backbenchers for the Partygate scandals at a private meeting in Parliament on Wednesday afternoon and cabinet ministers also took to Twitter en masse to support him, summing up the Tories’ desire to move on.

“The prime minister has apologised and taken responsibility for the mistakes that have been made,” Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said. “We now need to drive our economy forward post-Covid and ensure Putin loses in Ukraine.”

©2022 Bloomberg L.P.