·Freelance news writer, Yahoo UK
Sun, 28 August 2022 at 4:12 pm
Liz Truss has ruled out providing further direct energy bill support for all households, according to a report.
A Truss administration will not be considering further schemes like the £400 energy bill rebate – which will go to every household in Great Britain with a domestic electricity connection – the BBC reported campaign team sources as saying.
The corporation reported Truss is instead considering targeted support for lower income households, as well as tax cuts, as mitigations against the cost of living crisis.
In public, Truss – considered the favourite to win the Conservative leadership contest in eight days’ time and become the next prime minister – has been vague about forms of assistance she will offer, apart from slashing green levies on energy bills and reversing the controversial National Insurance hike.
She has argued it is not “right” to announce her full plan before the contest is over or she has seen all the analysis being prepared in Whitehall.
The incoming PM is under huge pressure to add to the current package of support schemes after Ofgem confirmed an 80% rise in its price cap, sending the average household’s yearly energy bill from £1,971 to £3,549 starting in October. At the start of the year, the average bill was £1,277.
Truss’ leadership rival Rishi Sunak, who announced the £400 rebate scheme in May when he was chancellor, has already pledged more direct support should he become PM.
His team labelled a reported 5% VAT cut plan by Truss “regressive” and said it would cost tens of billions of pounds.
The Treasury spokesman has said it is making “necessary preparations” to ensure the next government has options to deliver extra help “as quickly as possible”.
Outgoing PM Boris Johnson said whoever succeeds him in Number 10 would announce “another huge package of financial support”.
Ofgem warned the government on Friday that it must act urgently to “match the scale of the crisis we have before us”.
Further damaging increases to bills are likely, with economists at Cornwall Insight forecasting the price cap will almost double to £6,616 by April next year.