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New cost of living business tsar ‘looks forward to helping customers with practical saving initiatives’

The government has appointed a new cost of living business tsar to help support people with rising bills.

David Buttress, the founder and former chief executive of online food order and delivery service Just Eat, will work in partnership with the private sector to identify, develop and promise new and existing business-led initiatives that support people with soaring costs of living, the government said.

This will include building on price locking campaign schemes, product offers and the expansion of business-run programmes.

David Buttress. Twitter pic

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Mr Buttress is the founder and former chief executive of online food order and delivery service Just Eat. Twitter pic

Mr Buttress was awarded the role by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Steve Barclay on a voluntary basis.

He will continue in the position until the end of the year.

Confirming the appointment, Mr Barclay said: “Businesses and organisations across the country have stepped up time and time again when the nation needs it most. The financial pressures people are facing as a result of current global challenges will be no different.

“I am delighted to have David Buttress on board, bringing with him a wealth of experience along with the vigour and ingenuity of business to go even further in efforts to support British families throughout this difficult time.”

Mr Buttress, who is currently chairman of Dragons Rugby club in Newport and a venture partner at 83North Venture Capital, said: “The rising cost of living that we are all facing, both in the UK and globally, provides business and industry with a unique challenge and opportunity to do our bit.

“I am looking forward to working closely with my private sector colleagues, to help support our communities and customers with practical and real cost of living saving initiatives.”

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Impact of cost of living crisis

In January, Mr Buttress tweeted complaining that “the worst people often rise to the highest office” and that Mr Johnson “has to go”.

But Downing Street said the comments by the new cost of living business tsar are “not relevant” to his new position.

“We want to get people with the right experience into important roles such as these.

“Anyone who looks at Mr Buttress’s CV can see that he is well-qualified to advise the government in this specific area. Those views are not relevant to the role he is doing.”

Mr Buttress took part in a roundtable with supermarkets and sports organisations on Tuesday hosted by Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi where the attendees will discuss the role that the private sector can play in helping low-income families.

Representatives from Co-op, John Lewis Partnership/Waitrose, Swim England, Sport England, and English Football League were due to attend.

One opportunity which was expected to be discussed was the Holiday Activities and Food Programme which creates local level partnerships between sports clubs and supermarkets, backing projects that boost access to free activities and food during the holidays for disadvantaged children, including those in receipt of free school meals.

The government has pledged over £37bn in terms of cost of living support so far.

On Monday, Lloyds Banking Group (LBG) offered tens of thousands of staff a one-off payment of £1,000 to help with the rising cost of living.

The country’s largest domestic lender said the money would be made available in August, according to a memo seen by Sky News.