While Chancellor Jeremy Hunt is expected to announce tax increases and a number of Government spending cuts in his Autumn Statement on Thursday, additional forms of financial aid are also anticipated, for those who need it. The speculated support measures come as former PM Liz Truss’ energy price guarantee is set to come to an end next April.
The energy price guarantee, which took effect on October 1, reduced the unit cost of electricity and gas so that a household with typical energy use would pay around £2,500 a year on average for their energy.
However, while the cap was initially said to be in place for two years, it’s instead been reduced to six months after the markets expressed concerns that it wasn’t sustainable due to international energy price fluctuations.
The Chancellor is instead expected to hike the energy price cap up a further £600 for an average household to £3,100 a year, in a move that should slash the energy bailout by two-thirds from costing an estimated £60billion plan to around £20billion.
But while this figure remains extortionate for many, it’s thought that Mr Hunt will be announcing new support through more one-off payments to help Britain’s most vulnerable.
READ MORE: Hunt to hike energy bills cap to eye-watering £3,100 this week
“If we are going to tackle that and deal with the worry that, for example, a pensioner has about the massive increase in the gas bill, the electricity bill and so on, then we need a long-term plan for the country for clean energy, for green energy, for cheap energy, that isn’t affected by international events.”c
Elaborating on his energy plans to the BBC, Mr Hunt said: “We’ll make sure that we protect the most vulnerable.
“And in particular, deal with the single biggest worry for people on low incomes, which is the rising cost of their weekly shop and rising energy prices.
The energy support scheme was announced in May by Rishi Sunak when he was Chancellor, as well as the other cost of living schemes for various eligible groups.
This included a £650 one-off payment, which was distributed to those who receive certain benefits, a £300 payment for low-income pensioners, and a £150 payment distributed to those with disabilities.
It’s thought that Mr Hunt will announce that the same sort of groups may receive some sort of targeted help again, during Thursday’s statement.