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29th Aug 2022

Brits on £45k salaries will need government help to pay energy bills – Chancellor says

Jack Peat

energy bills price cap october ofgem

Ofgem raised the energy price cap to £3,549 on Friday 

Brits earning £45,000 a year will need government assistance with their energy bills as prices skyrocket.

Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi has urged households to try and reduce their energy consumption this winter amid fears that gas prices could remain elevated for another two years.

Energy bills will soar for millions of families in the autumn after the price cap was increased to £3,549 a year – a record rise of 80 per cent.

The Good Law Project has said it will take action against the regulator after the eye-watering increase, saying it was the first legal action of its kind.

Speaking to the Telegraph, Zahawi said: “My concern is there are those who aren’t on benefits. If you’re a senior nurse or a senior teacher on £45,000 a year, you’re having your energy bills go up 80 per cent and will probably rise even higher in the new year – it’s really hard.”

Although Universal Credit is a “really effective way of targeting”, he said, other ideas are being explored “to make sure we help those who really need the help”.

Mr Zahawi is understood to have drawn up a series of options for the next prime minister to consider – and despite calls for urgent action from the energy regulator Ofgem, Ms Truss has said it would not be “right” to announce her full plans for tackling the cost of living crisis until a new Tory leader is named on 5 September.

The chancellor went on to warn that the UK is “in a national economic emergency”, adding: “This could go on for 18 months, two years, if Putin continues to use energy as a weapon.”

Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis has warned that “people will die this winter” as Britain braces for untenably high energy bills.

Defending himself against claims of “doom-mongering”, he said that what many have labelled as “catastrophising” has now come true and he believes that if the poorest families don’t get urgent help, “people will die this winter due to unaffordability”.

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