Those earning £45,000 need help with their bills, says UK Chancellor


(Bloomberg) —

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(Bloomberg) —

Middle-income households will also need help with their energy bills this winter, Chancellor of the Exchequer Nadhim Zahawi has said, as Britons face electricity and gas bills this winter that will be almost triple those of last year.

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Zahawi told The Telegraph in an interview that rising energy costs would be « really difficult » for those earning £45,000 ($52,848) a year, such as senior teachers or nurses, adding that the government was considering « all options » for additional support. The UK announced a £15bn support package in May, including loans of £400 to all households and more for the poorest.

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Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak, in a race to replace Boris Johnson as Prime Minister, are under pressure to give more details on how they plan to help struggling households ahead of the outcome of the leadership race. Conservatives on September 5. Energy regulator Ofgem announced on Friday the national annual energy bill cap would rise to £3,549 in October, with analysts estimating further increases in 2023.

Zahawi has also drawn up options to help small businesses that do not benefit from energy price caps and is considering offering loans to energy suppliers, The Telegraph reported.

Read: Once unthinkable ideas gain traction to tackle the UK’s energy crisis

The opposition Labor Party said it would support a freeze on energy bills, a measure which Zahawi did not rule out, saying « nothing is ruled out », according to The Telegraph.

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Truss – the leadership contest favorite – said she could not give details of the support measures until she sees the options presented to her if she wins. She has already promised to cut taxes and suspend levies on green energy bills.

Sunak wrote that tax cuts and emergency support to reduce energy costs would be an « economic gamble that could lead to even higher and more lasting inflation », in an op-ed piece published Saturday in The Times. . Tax cuts alone would do « nothing for most people who need them most » this winter, he said.

As Chancellor, Sunak introduced a package of measures earlier this year to tackle the cost of living crisis, with additional support targeted at the most vulnerable households. He wrote that he would « look to try and do the same again » for the most vulnerable, given the scale of the increases in energy costs.

(Updates with Truss, Sunak details of 6th paragraph.)



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