Calderdale MP welcomes energy bills relief - but criticises Chancellor's method

The Calder Valley's MP has welcomed the Government's plans to step in over soaring energy bills but says there would have been a better way to do it.

By sarah fitton
Thursday, 26th May 2022, 2:43 pm
Updated Thursday, 26th May 2022, 2:45 pm

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced today that every household in the UK is to get an energy bill discount of £400 this October as part of a package of new measures to tackle soaring prices.

The poorest households will also get a payment of £650 to help with the cost of living.

The package of new measures, worth £15bn in total, will also offer more targeted help to pensioners and the disabled.

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The Chancellor made the announcement today

The cost will be partly offset by 25 per cent windfall tax on oil and gas firms' profits, which have risen steeply in recent months.

Mr Whittaker said he is pleased households are getting help to meet their increasing energy bills but he thinks there are better options about how to do that.

"It's great news that there will be some relief for people of the Calder Valley and the rest of Calderdale," he said.

"But there are more innovative ways to do that than a windfall tax, for example freezing the price cap."

MP for the Calder Valley Craig Whittaker

He said other methods would have provided a more stable market. With this plan, consumers will still endure peaks and troughs in prices.

Mr Sunak said today the tax would raise about £5bn this year and be scrapped when oil and gas prices return to more normal levels.

In seeking a "sensible middle ground" energy suppliers will be able to apply for tax relief of 90p for every pound they invest in UK oil and gas projects.

Mr Whittaker has spoken of his support for fellow Conservative Stephen McPartland, MP for Stevenage, who has called on the Government to instruct energy watchdog Ofgem to freeze energy price cap - due to rise in October.

Mr McPartland says the move would "smooth out the volatility" of the wholesale price of gas.

Earlier this week, UK energy regulator Ofgem said the typical household energy bill was set to rise by £800 in October, bringing it to £2,800 a year. Bills had already risen by £700 on average in April.