Sunak decided to announce aid to the poorest to cope with the pressure on living costs

Sunak decided to announce aid to the poorest to cope with the pressure on living costs

Rishi Sunak will prepare a support package on Thursday to address the soaring cost of living.

The chancellor is expected to reveal his plan as the government tries to draw the line behind the partygate dispute and focus on the pressure on living standards caused by soaring inflation.

An unexpected tax on oil and gas giants, who have benefited from high global prices, is expected to help fund measures that target the most vulnerable.

The measures discussed in the £ 10 billion package could include a further increase in the discount on warm homes to help low-income households cope with rising energy bills.

Other measures under discussion include an increase in the winter fuel allowance, a further reduction in the municipal tax or a reduction in VAT.

Ofgem CEO Jonathan Brearley illustrated the need for further assistance, suggesting that the energy price cap would rise by a further £ 830 to £ 2,800 in October.

The Chancellor will have to be careful that any additional aid he puts into the economy does not contribute to inflation, which is currently at a 40-year high.

Whitehall sources pointed to a speech made by Mr Sunak last week, who said the government had “a collective responsibility to help the most vulnerable in our society.”

In addition to the potential impact on inflation, the Chancellor’s ability to help beyond the already announced £ 22 billion package will also be limited by national finances.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said hundreds of billions invested in the Covid pandemic had left a “very difficult fiscal position.”

He told a Downing Street news conference that households would “experience pressure for some time to come” due to soaring global energy prices and post-pandemic supply chain problems.

But he said: “We will continue to respond as we did during the pandemic.

“It will not be easy, we cannot fix everything.

“But I’d also say we can handle it and we’ll do well.”

Environment Minister George Eustica told LBC: “We are on a very difficult path here, because if we borrow a lot more money and throw it into a situation where we could increase inflation, we could make the situation worse and prices rise further.

“So we have to try to curb this inflation, which means showing some restraint, but at the same time helping people, especially those on the lowest incomes, who are facing some of these price increases.”

George Eustice, Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (James Manning / PA)

(PA wire)

Mr Eustice, whose portfolio includes the food industry, indicated that consumers were already switching to cheaper brands to reduce their food bills.

He had previously suggested it was a way to save money, but insisted, “I haven’t lectured or told anyone what to do.

“I pointed out that the last time we had this price jump in 2008, in fact, household spending on food did not increase as much as food prices, because people changed their shopping habits, bought various items and In some cases, yes, they switched to some valuable brands.

“It’s just an observational comment; That’s what some families did in 2008 and that’s what people will do now. “

In addition to food, the reduction in the cost of living is due to soaring energy prices.

There has also been speculation that the unexpected tax could be extended to electricity producers.

But SSE chief executive Alistair Phillips-Davies told BBC Radio 4 Today: we will avoid this in the future by bringing cheaper energy from domestic sources. “

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