Europe

‘Real difference to bills!’ Council tax cuts to help millions as energy costs surge

Martin Lewis warns of the threat of unaffordable energy bills

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Millions of people will be able to get rebates on their council tax bills worth hundreds of pounds, according to a scheme aimed at tackling the impact of rapidly rising energy prices on poorer households.  Chancellor Rishi Sunak is expected to announce that people in council tax bands A to C will receive rebates funded by Government grants.

Up to 15 million households could benefit with the poorest households expected to receive the biggest rebates.

It comes as the energy regulator Ofgem is expected to announce that the energy price cap will rise by 50 percent to as much as £2,000 over the surge in wholesale gas prices.

Energy UK, which represents suppliers, said a survey had shown a quarter of people would not be able to afford a £50 increase in their bills.

Among those earning less than £20,000 this figure rose to 45 percent.

Emma Pinchbeck, chief executive of Energy UK, emphasised the need for government intervention when speaking to The Times.

She said: “There is a need for Government to act, as other Governments already have, to make a real difference to bills.”

According to The Times, industry sources say the Government may have to intervene later in the year if prices still remain high.

There are also predictions from some analysts that the price cap will need to rise again in October.

Rishi Sunak is also expected to announce plans for billions of pounds in state backed loans to give all households a discount of £200 in their energy bills.

However, despite these measures Mr Sunak is expected to concede that energy bills will increase for the majority of the population.

In England council tax bands are based on valuations from 1991, meaning although Mr Sunak’s rebates are aimed at those in the lowest bands, people in London and the South East are expected to benefit the most.

This is because of the spectacular growth in property prices in London and the South East since the early 90s.

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