Martin Lewis has been praised by viewers for challenging Chancellor Rishi Sunak over support measures the UK government has announced to help millions of households across the country cope with the ‘sickening’ rise in oil prices energy coming in April.
In a special energy edition of The Martin Lewis Money Show Live on ITV, the financial guru interviewed the Chancellor after Ofgem announced a 54% rise in energy bills for 22 million customers across the Kingdom UK, resulting in an annual increase of £693 to £. 1,791 for the average user.
Martin opened the show telling viewers: ‘Energy bills will rise 54% in April, you’ll be paying half of what you’re paying now again – on average £700 more a year.’
He continued: “I have the Chancellor on the show to dissect piece by piece how his plans for pain relief really add up.”
Energy price cap support
On Thursday, Rishi Sunak addressed Parliament and announced a £200 credit loan for all domestic electricity customers, including those using a prepaid meter, in Scotland, England and Wales, who will automatically be added to their bills in October.
Energy customers will repay £40 a year from April 2023 for the next five years.
Eligible energy customers benefiting from the Warm Home Discount will receive an additional £10 on top of the £140 that will be automatically credited to their electricity account by their supplier.
And for households in England on council tax bands A to D, they will receive a £150 non-refundable rebate on their annual bills.
There will also be a £144million discretionary fund available for those in England who do not benefit from the council tax cut, which the Chancellor confirmed was introduced after contacting the financial guru.
Total funding of £290m is expected to flow to the Scottish Government from the UK Treasury to offset the huge rise in energy bills, but as the Chancellor has no control over local government funding in Scotland, a lump sum, based on the Barnett Formula, will be added to the Scottish Government Block Grant.
Mr Sunak confirmed that the funding for Scotland would be £290 million and that the Treasury would be in talks with Scottish Finance Secretary Kate Forbes.
Martin started the interview by listing all the financial changes that will put pressure on household finances and contribute to the cost of living crisis.
He told the Chancellor: ‘We have the price cap going up by £700 a year in April, and let’s be honest it’s probably going to go up more than that in October, we have a National Insurance increase coming up, we we have an increase in Council Tax, for those with variable rate mortgages they see an increase of £150 per annum for £100,000 of mortgage, we have the personal tax relief freeze, there is a massive cost of living crisis which as a typical house will cost at least £1000 a year.
He continued: ‘You put £350 in there of which £200 is a loan, when I asked people what they wanted me to ask you what they said ask him ‘why the hell he don’t give us more “.”
Martin asked him bluntly, “Why the hell don’t you give them more?”
Mr Sunak replied: ‘I totally appreciate that and there’s a lot going on at the same time and that’s why we’ve taken the steps we have that I think will make a significant difference.’
However, the financial journalist challenged the support measures and warned that many households would be plunged into fuel poverty.
He said: “I think what you’ve done today will make it harder for a lot of people to choose between warming up and eating, but not for everyone.
“I would just ask you to be open minded and keep looking and as we look at the desperate people we may need more help as we go through the winter period in particular.”
The Chancellor replied: “I always monitor everything, am open-minded and always try to listen.”
Martin then said: “I’ve been warning about this since last June – it’s no exaggeration to say that some will have to choose between freezing or starving. We’ve seen the use of food banks increase.
“Do you believe we are in a position in this country where no one will have to choose between freezing and starving?
Mr Sunak replied: “We have put in place a series of measures to help those who need our help the most.
“People can judge me and the [UK] The government, based on our track record over the last year or two, and all the facts and figures show that those who are actually in the most vulnerable situations or the lowest incomes have received the most support from the government and we have made a big difference in their lives.
Later in the episode a viewer asked if people would have the option to decline the £200 loan and not take on the debt, to which Mr Sunak said it would be automatically applied to all accounts energy.
He said: “The whole process will take much longer, so we did it universally and automatically. You shouldn’t think of it as debt, it’s £200 off your bill, there’s no interest on that, the £200 you have you put that aside and probably earn a bit of money. money and get the £40 back in just over five years.”
After the interview, Martin said: “The Chancellor is betting energy prices will start to come down in a year’s time because this scheme will add an extra £40 a year to people’s bills. If they don’t, eh well, adding an extra £40. , that’s unthinkable.”
Response from viewers
People who watched the show live helped make it the number one trending topic on Twitter with countless users praising the founder of MoneySavingExpert.com for his continued efforts and important work on behalf of the public.
One user tweeted, “We are so lucky to have a financial journalist like @MartinSLewis in our country.”
Another said: “I wish that segment with the Chancellor could have been longer. Brilliant, clear and really useful program, thank you.
Another added: ‘I would like all in government to be questioned and held accountable as well as @RishiSunak was by your side tonight.’
While one user urged ITV to give the show a longer time slot, tweeting: “You guys are making this all so much easier to understand, if in doubt… listen to Martin! I just wish @ITV would give your show more than half an hour as it covers something as important as tonight’s and reaches millions of people!”
You can watch Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s full interview and Martin’s preview of the energy price cap announcement on The Money Show Live on the STV player.
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