SOARING energy bills are a “price worth paying” to secure the UK’s “long-term security,” Liz Truss has said.

The new Prime Minister was speaking in New York ahead of the UN General Assembly where Russia's invasion of Ukraine looks set to dominate discussions. 

In a series of interviews from the 102nd floor of the Empire State Building, Ms Truss told reporters she was willing to be "unpopular" to grow the economy

The government is due to set out tax and spending plans this Friday in what's been dubbed a mini-budget. 

As well as plans to scrap a hike in National Insurance, and a planned increase in corporation tax, it could see the end of a number of regulations, including a cap on bankers' bonuses.

Earlier this month, Ms Truss set out her Energy Price Guarantee, which should see most households paying more than £2,500 a year for power. 

More details of the scheme - which is predicted to cost between £100bn and £150bn - are due to be unveiled this week, including help for businesses.

During the interviews, the Prime Minister said the UK “cannot jeopardise our security for the sake of cheap energy” from Russia.

“The point I’m the point that I’m making is that it’s a price worth paying for Britain, because our long-term security is paramount,” she added.

“But what I don’t want to happen is that to be passed on to bill-payers who beyond that energy guarantee that I’ve outlined because I don’t think that’s right.”

In Europe, some government are urging their citizens to use less energy, but Ms Truss said it was for consumers to choose whether they want to go easy on heating or not.

“No, we are not talking about rationing of energy,” she told reporters.

“Of course, I always support energy efficiency measures like home insulation, that makes sense, and energy prices are higher than they were.

“There is a strong incentive for businesses and households to invest in energy efficiency, but we do have reliable supplies of energy but ultimately everyone makes their own decisions about how they decide to do those things.”

Ms Truss will hold a number of meetings with other world leaders while in New York, including with Emmanuel Macron. During last month's Tory leadership race she claimed the jury was out on whether the French president was a "friend or foe". 

However, she has since taken a more diplomatic approach, and today, promised to work closely with allies.

Asked about the difference between her and Boris Johnson, Ms Truss said: “Well, I will be my own Prime Minister and I wouldn’t compare myself to any predecessors.

“And the times we’re in are different from the times predecessors have been in.

“We are entering a new era. It is a more insecure era.

“We face an increasingly aggressive Russia, an assertive China. We need to work more closely with our allies, and we also need to get the British economy growing so that we have that security for all of our citizens.”

Ms Truss also admitted that her tax-cutting proposals will initially benefit the rich more than the poorest.

Yesterday, an analysis by the Institute for Fiscal Studies suggested her plan to scrap the hike in National Insure will help Britain’s poorest by just 63p a month, while the income of the richest will be boosted by £150 a month. 

In an interview with Sky News, Ms Truss said: “I don’t accept this argument that cutting taxes is somehow unfair.

“What we know is people on higher incomes generally pay more tax so when you reduce taxes there is often a disproportionate benefit because those people are paying more taxes in the first place.

“We should be setting our tax policy on the basis of what is going to help our country become successful. What is going to deliver that economy that benefits everybody in our country.

“What I don’t accept is the idea that tax cuts for business don’t help people in general.”

Asked if she was prepared to be unpopular, Ms Truss said: “Yes. Yes, I am.

“What is important to me is we grow the British economy because that’s what will ultimately deliver higher wages, more investment in towns and cities across the country. That’s what will ultimately deliver more money to people’s pockets.

“In order to get that economic growth, Britain has to be competitive.

“If we put up taxes, if we have arbitrary taxes on energy companies, if we have high corporation tax we’re not going to get that investment and growth.”

Meanwhile, ahead of a meeting between the two tomorrow, Joe Biden hit out at “trickle-down economics.”

The US president took to Twitter to say he was “sick and tired” of the theory that cutting taxes for businesses and the wealthy will see the benefits “trickle down” into the pockets of poorer workers.

In a message on Twitter, Mr Biden said: “I am sick and tired of trickle-down economics. It has never worked.

“We’re building an economy from the bottom up and middle out.”

While the message was likely intended for a domestic US audience ahead of elections later this year, it underlines the economic and political divide between the White House and No 10.

The SNP's Shadow Chancellor Alison Thewliss said the government had "failed to take the necessary action needed to protect people and businesses."

She said: "In fact, the only measures reported so far have been a Truss tax that would see households forced to pay the multi-billion pound cost of an energy bill freeze and shameful plans to scrap the cap on bankers' bonuses.

"While bankers rake in more money and energy companies make billions in excess profits, ordinary households are once again left behind struggling to make ends meet and as debt piles up.

"The UK government must deliver real and targeted support - including freezing energy bills for as long as necessary but not at the expense of ordinary families, and expanding the windfall tax on the excess profits of major companies."