Government listens to Julian’s call for more energy bills support with £400 discount
May 27, 2022
I am very glad to see the government has dialled up its emergency household energy bill support with yesterday’s £400 per home discount. When the Chancellor announced his initial February council tax rebate package, I called on him to be ready to go further if the situation developed, and I am reassured he has now followed my advice and done so.
Given the existing unprecedented global economic factors forcing up energy costs have now been exacerbated by the shock of the war in Ukraine, it is good to see the government protecting families from this by building on the £150 band A-D council tax rebate, with the previous £200 loan doubled to £400 and turned into an automatic non-repayable grant for all households from October.
This means 89% of households in the York and Humber region and 95% of renters nationwide will get at least £550 from Ministers to offset rising energy costs. The new £400 payment will be especially useful for middle income homes in rural and semi-rural areas of North Yorkshire that might have fallen outside the A-D council tax rebate.
I also welcome the Chancellor’s additional measures beyond this to help lower income households, with an automatic £650 payment for over 8 million people on income-related benefits. The special energy needs of people with disabilities and pensioners will also be covered, with new grants of £150 and £300 respectively, in addition to Winter Fuel Payments.
I am relieved the gas and oil excess profits tax used to help fund this support has wisely been accompanied with increased investment allowances, allowing producers to write-off investment against tax to secure future jobs and growth. A one-off levy to protect families against a freak price shock is understandable, but we cannot forget that improving living standards and creating good jobs depends on business success and economic growth, both in York and nationwide.