Energy Bill News Live: Rishi Sunak to announce cost of living assistance
Sunday Times Rich List: Rishi Sunak and his wife join the elite with a fortune of £730m
Rishi Sunak is expected to announce new measures to ease the cost of living crisis, potentially including a cut on energy bills funded by a windfall tax on oil and gas company profits.
After a deadly day in the Commons for Boris Johnson following the publication of Sue Gray’s Partygate report, the Chancellor is expected to tell MPs on Thursday that he will drop the previously announced £200 loan on energy bills and replace it with a grant that will not have to be repaid.
According to reports, this discount could be increased up to £400. Other measures discussed as part of a possible package worth up to £10billion include a further increase in the warm house rebate, increases in the winter fuel allowance and reductions in housing tax or VAT.
The expected U-turn on a windfall tax – despite fierce opposition from some Cabinet members – comes after Ofgem chief executive Jonathan Brearley warned that the energy price cap would rise further from £830 to £2,800 in October.
Boris Johnson ‘focused’ on cost of living crisis, insists No 10 chief of staff
The Downing Street chief of staff has insisted Boris Johnson is ‘focused’ on dealing with the cost of living crisis.
Asked on Sky News this morning in light of the Partygate scandal if the Prime Minister is telling lies, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Steve Barclay replied: ‘No he doesn’t.
He added: “I work very closely with him. It focuses on our response to Ukraine. It’s focused on the huge economic challenge for families, for your viewers, in terms of the cost of energy, the cost of food, it gets down to business.
Andy GregoireMay 26, 2022 8:53 a.m.
UK needs long-term investment to tackle soaring energy costs, says Lisa Nandy
Labour’s Lisa Nandy slammed Rishi Sunak for failing to back a homes renovation plan, which she said would have cut households saved by hundreds of pounds each year, and urged the Chancellor to go further than an exceptional tax, in particular by increasing the advantages.
Shadow upgrade secretary said BBC breakfast“The long term plan this country desperately needs must involve investing in things like renovating homes. This week the Chancellor had the opportunity to argue that it would have cut £400 off utility bills. people’s energy every year, it would help people this year, next year, the year after, that’s the long term plan this country needs.
“We urged the government to come forward and make those investments and make those commitments. They had the opportunity to do so this week. They dodged it again, it’s time we had a government that supports its people and starts investing in the people of this country.
She suggested a number of other proposals beyond a windfall tax, saying Labor’s plan would ‘slash up to £600 off energy bills for those who need it most’.
Ms Nandy added: ‘He could also do other things that we’ve been asking for, like bringing the benefit increase forward, not waiting until the fall to catch up with soaring inflation rates and helping people now.
“Every book that goes back into people’s pockets will make a huge difference. So hopefully what we’re finally going to see is less dithering and delays, more real action, money in people’s pockets, and help for people struggling right now.
Andy GregoireMay 26, 2022 8:46 a.m.
How much could a windfall tax yield?
Labor has estimated that a windfall tax on oil and gas companies’ profits could bring in some £1.2billion for the Treasury, but that figure is only a fraction of the extra costs Britons face this year .
While Rishi Sunak was previously opposed to an exceptional tax, The temperature reports that the Chancellor is now seeking to impose a much broader tax on energy producers, including wind farm operators, who have benefited from high prices.
While it would target £10billion of ‘excess profit’, it’s unclear how much that would bring to the Treasury. But overall the government is believed to be considering a spending package of up to £10billion.
However, according to the Resolution Foundation think tank, Mr Sunak needs to spend £15billion to help people on low incomes through the cost of living crisis.
Our economic journalist Ben Chapman has more details on what to potentially expect in the Chancellor’s Support Program in this full report:
Andy GregoireMay 26, 2022 8:21 a.m.
Exclusive: Majority of UK public support windfall tax, poll finds
According to a new survey shared with The Independent.
According to a new poll commissioned by environmental think tank Green Alliance.
Sixty-six percent of those who voted for the Conservative Party in the 2019 election said they favored a windfall tax, the same proportion as those who voted for the Labor Party, according to the poll by Public First.
Only seven percent of respondents opposed the tax, while 30 percent said they neither opposed nor supported the tax or didn’t know. The poll, conducted between May 13 and May 18, interviewed 2,005 people weighted by age, gender, region and social status in nationally representative proportions.
You can read the full report, from our climate correspondent Saphora Smithhere:
Andy GregoireMay 26, 2022 8:07 a.m.
What did Boris Johnson say yesterday about the cost of living?
The subject of the cost of living crisis was raised yesterday at the Downing Street press conference called by Boris Johnson following the publication of Sue Gray’s report into the Partygate scandal.
The Prime Minister acknowledged that households “are going to be under pressure for some time” due to soaring global energy prices and supply chain issues in the wake of the pandemic.
Warning that the hundreds of billions poured in to deal with the Covid pandemic had left a “very difficult budgetary situation”, he said: “We will continue to respond, just as we have responded throughout the pandemic.
“It won’t be easy, we won’t be able to fix everything. But what I would also say is that we will get through this and we will do well.
Andy GregoireMay 26, 2022 07:53
Cases for windfall tax ‘rigidly tested’, Conservative source says
Rishi Sunak is expected to scrap his £200 loan on energy bills and replace it with a grant worth up to £400.
In order to fund this he is expected to announce a windfall tax – despite weeks of strong opposition to the idea from him, Boris Johnson and many Cabinet members because of its impact on investment.
My colleague Joe Middleton reports that a Tory source said yesterday that the arguments had been ‘rigorously tested’ within the Treasury and the wider government.
“There’s a high threshold that any package we offer provides more gain than pain, that the gain is worth it, that it doesn’t compromise the investment,” he said. “You are not introducing random taxes that make the economic environment unpredictable.”
You can read more details here:
Andy GregoireMay 26, 2022 07:43
Hello, we’ll be using this live blog to bring you the latest updates today on the cost of living crisis, with Rishi Sunak set to announce a new Commons support package at 11.30am.
Andy GregoireMay 26, 2022 07:37