Minister Says People Must “Work Together" To Get Through The Cost Of Living Crisis
Policing Minister Kit Malthouse has claimed people should “work together to get through” the cost of living crisis as higher energy prices come into effect.
Malthouse said he acknowledges “that the situation is extremely tough” and that government is trying to “balance the assistance we give with within the financial constraints we’ve got”.
“It is very tough against the background of inflation to see these rises in day-to-day living costs,” told BBC Breakfast this morning.
“It is going to be hard and we’re all going to have to work together to try and get through it.”
A rise in the energy price cap, which is set by the regulator Ofgem, means from today the average household will pay £693 per year more for gas and electricity.
Last month consumer price inflation hit 6.2%, the highest figure in three decades, further exacerbating pressure on household budgets.
The British Chamber of Commerce believes more British businesses are preparing to spike prices than at any time since the 1980s.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has set out a package of measures intended to help households with the financial squeeze, but has faced criticism that they focus on too few areas of spending and don't go far enough to protect the most financially vulnerable.
Fuel duty has been cut by 5p per litre, having risen significantly in price in recent months, and all British households will receive a mandatory £200 loan to help pay energy bills this year.
From July the threshold for paying National Insurance will increase by £3,000 and 20 million homes in tax bands A to D will receive a £150 council tax rebate this month.
But MPs from across the Commons, as well as numerous financial think tanks and charities, have said the measures do not go far enough to help those in need.
The Resolution Foundation think tank has estimated that 1.3 million people will be plunged into absolute poverty next year.
“I can’t pretend to you that it isn’t tough as we see this inflation in fuel prices spike, hopefully receding shortly,” Malthouse told the BBC.
“I know that the chancellor is looking very closely on an almost daily basis at the impact it is having on individuals and their families,” he added.
Speaking on Sky News, the policing minister reiterated that Sunak is “trying to ameliorate the challenge” but admitted “we can't ameliorate it all”.
This morning Labour leader Keir Starmer repeated his party’s calls for a windfall tax to be placed on oil and gas companies that have seen profits soar amid the rise in fuel prices.
“What I want people to do is to look at the Labour party and see a party that understands their worries, that takes them seriously and is prepared to put practical plans on the table,” Starmer said.
“We’re putting a practical plan on the table that says for those that need it most you ask oil and gas companies who have made more profit than they were expecting to make… to pay their fair share,” he added.
PoliticsHome provides the most comprehensive coverage of UK politics anywhere on the web, offering high quality original reporting and analysis: Subscribe