Today the Chancellor has announced a package of measures to help households across the country meet the rising cost of living pressures.
These measures include:
- All households will receive a £400 support to help with energy bills, replacing previous plans for a £200 energy bill loan
More than 8 million households on means tested benefits will receive a payment of £650 this year, made in two installments
Over 8 million pensioner households across the UK who receive the Winter Fuel Payment, will receive an extra £300 this year to help them cover the rising cost of energy this winter
Around six million people across the UK who receive disability benefits will receive a one-off cost of living payment of £150 in September
To support people who need additional help, the Government is providing an extra £500 million of local support, via the Household Support Fund, which will be extended from this October to March 2023.
While I remain unconvinced that a windfall tax is the best way of funding this, it is absolutely right that we provide additional support for those struggling, as we face what is likely to be a difficult winter with rising costs and inflation and I therefore welcome the Chancellor’s intervention. One thing that has always struck me as perverse is that due to pre-payment meters those on the lowest incomes often end up paying the highest prices. Today's announcement ensures that those on pre-payment meters also benefit from this support package and will have their £400 energy grant applied to their meter or paid via a voucher.
Further details of the support measures announced are available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/cost-of-living-support/cost-of-living-support-factsheet-26-may-2022
In addition to short term measures we need to redouble our efforts to ensure energy security in order to provide greater stability and protection from international price volatility. Our energy security strategy sets out a clear vision to achieve this, and I welcome the continued prioritisation and incentivisation of private sector investment in renewable and nuclear technologies.
Fundamentally we need strong markets, operating within a robust framework, which can deliver security, stability for customers and support a strong economy. I welcome the announcement today that the operation of the energy market will be reviewed and reformed as needed to ensure that we do not face future energy price spikes that require state intervention in the way we are doing today.