Sharon McDougall - 17th October 2022 - 2 minutes to read
Plans to help protect British households from the full impacts of soaring energy costs are only now scheduled to run until April 2023.
Just a few weeks ago, the UK government committed to an Energy Price Guarantee and an Energy Bills Relief Scheme that was intended to run for a period of two years.
However, with Jeremy Hunt now having replaced Kwasi Kwarteng as chancellor of the exchequer, those plans are set to be significantly scaled back and no commitments on energy price caps are being made beyond April next year.
Households can still expect to get £400 off their energy bills this winter but it is not now clear what help they might be entitled to beyond April.
Statements given by the Treasury on the subject have said: “The Energy Price Guarantee and the Energy Bill Relief Scheme are supporting millions of households and businesses with rising energy costs, and the chancellor made clear they will continue to do so from now until April next year.
“However, looking beyond April, the prime minister and the chancellor have agreed that it would be irresponsible for the government to continue exposing the public finances to unlimited volatility in international gas prices.”
Official statements also explained that while the Treasury will still be aiming to support households and businesses in coping with their energy bills from April onwards the plan will be to do so in ways that “will cost the taxpayer significantly less”.
According to the government, energy bills support for businesses will be “targeted at those most affected” and will be provided in ways that serve to “better incentivise energy efficiency”.
Citizens Advice Scotland has been warning consistently this year that a growing number of Scots with debt problems are becoming unable to pay their fuel bills.
The charity previously welcomed the government’s plans to help households keep their energy costs down and has warned that many will be very worried by the new chancellor’s announcements on scaling back that support.
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