Rishi Sunak Hints At More Help With Energy Bills If They Rise Again In October

The chancellor said he would 'keep everything under review'.
Energy bills are set to soar once again later this year.
Energy bills are set to soar once again later this year.
Jacob King via PA Wire/PA Images

Rishi Sunak has hinted that the government could offer more help to people facing soaring energy bills in the autumn.

The chancellor has already announced plans to cut £200 off gas and electricity costs this year.

But with the Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR) predicting that bills could rise by another £830 in the autumn, when the energy price cap is reviewed, Sunak is under pressure to go further.

Asked if the government would intervene if bills climbed further, Sunak told Radio 4’s Today programme: “Yes, of course we’ll have to see where we are by the autumn and it’s right for people to recognise that they are protected between now and the autumn because of the price cap.”

Pressed on whether that meant he would intervene again in the autumn, Sunak said: “I always keep everything under review, and the government, as it’s shown over the past two years, is always responsive to what’s happening.

“But I would say with energy prices, you know, they are very volatile, and I don’t think you, I or anyone else has any certainty about what will happen in October right now.”

In his spring statement on Wednesday, Sunak cut fuel duty by 5p a litre and raised the threshold at which people make national insurance contributions in a bid to address the problem. He also pledged to cut income tax from 20p in the pound to 19p by 2024.

However, he has been accused of not doing anything to help those on low incomes or on benefits.

A report from the Resolution Foundation this morning forecast that 1.3 million - including half a million children - will fall into absolute poverty this year.

During a round of broadcast interviews, Sunak repeatedly insisted that the government was helping the poorest in society.

Asked why he did not “create a buffer for the people who need it most”, Sunak told BBC Breakfast: “So we did, and actually because they are our priority we started with them, and we did that in October in my Budget then.

“And what we did then was make the operation of Universal Credit more generous, we cut something called the taper rate, the tax rate in Universal Credit… you act in advance of things happening where you can.”


What's Hot