A new Government plan to help people during the cost-of-living crisis is reportedly due to be unveiled the day after Sue Gray’s report is published.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak is widely reported to be meeting with Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday to “sign off” on their “multibillion-pound” plan, with Thursday being the suggested date for an announcement.
It comes after Ofgem chief executive Jonathan Brearley told MPs the regulator is expecting the energy price cap to increase by a further £830 to £2,800 in October.
He said this was due to the market coping with “once-in-a-generation” price changes “not seen since the oil crisis of the 1970s”.
Government sources told the PA news agency that no decisions have been made yet and the timing is yet to be confirmed.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak during a Cabinet meeting at 10 Downing Street, London. Picture date: Tuesday May 24, 2022. Daniel Leal
Reports have stated a new windfall tax on energy firms would be used to help those who are struggling – an option previously suggested by Labour and some senior Tories.
Other measures which could be introduced include increases in the warm homes discount, winter fuel allowance and a cut in council tax, while a VAT cut is said to be being raised, The Times said.
The announcement is also reported to be going ahead as a way to take some of the heat off the Government following the publication of Ms Gray’s full report into partygate, which is expected on Wednesday.
But a Downing Street spokesman told the BBC he would “refute any suggestion” an announcement would be timed to distract from the report.
Last week, Mr Sunak gave a speech at the CBI annual dinner, where he said there is a “collective responsibility to help the most vulnerable in our society”.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak. UK PARLIAMENT/JESSICA TAYLOR
A Government spokesperson said: “We understand that people are struggling with rising prices, and while we can’t shield everyone from the global challenges we face, we’re supporting British families to navigate the months ahead with a £22 billion package of support.
“That includes saving the typical employee over £330 a year through a tax cut in July, allowing people on Universal Credit to keep more of the money they earn – benefiting over a million families by around £1,000 a year, and providing millions of households with up to £350 each to help with rising energy bills.
“The Chancellor has been clear that as the situation evolves, our response will evolve – and we stand ready to do more.”