Cost of living: Sunak grilled over delays in steps to help
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Chancellor Rishi Sunak claimed the government has “already done a lot” to support people struggling to navigate in the current energy crisis and added that, as the government learns more about the extent of the current cost-of-living crisis, he “stands ready to do more”. In light of the claims, Sky News journalist Helen-Ann Smith challenged Mr Sunak and asked “what are you waiting for?” to provide further support as she reminded the Chancellor “people are going hungry right now”.
Mr Sunak said: “We’ve done a lot already whether it’s support with people’s energy bills, cutting fuel duties, very significant tax cut that’s coming in in just weeks time on national insurance thresholds.
“But I’ve always said I stand ready to do more as we learn more about the situation.
“But I’ve said when we have a clearer picture of what happens with energy bills, stand ready.”
Ms Smith pointed out: “People are going hungry right now.
“What are you waiting for?”
Mr Sunak responded: “Well, that’s why we’ve already announced things in advance of this energy price cap increasing, and that was in February.
“Nine billion pounds and for a typical family, it’s a £350 worth of support compared to a bill increase of about 700 pounds on average.
“So I wouldn’t say it’s just scratching the sides.
“That’s half of the total increase.
“150 pounds of that has already been distributed to the vast majority of families through a Council Tax rebate.
“There’s 200 pounds further to come, but that’s not all we’re doing.
“Fuel duties have already been cut, and that’s worth about 100 pounds a year together with the freeze.
“And in just weeks time, it’s really important for people to remember, National Insurance thresholds will be raised.
“That’s worth 300 pounds a year, that’s a significant amount of help for people”.
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In light of the current cost-of-living crisis and the pressure from the public who is struggling to make ends meet, Mr Sunak said “no option is off the table” when considering windfall tax on oil and gas companies.
Referring to the possibility of a windfall tax, PM Boris Johnson has expressed his concern and justified his stance saying that energy companies right now need to invest in new technologies able to tackle the current cost-of-living crisis.
In an interview with LBC, Mr Johnson said: “The disadvantage of those sorts of taxes [windfall taxes] is that they deter investment.
“[Companies] need to be investing in new energy supply”.
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