The unveiling of a new cost of living support package today is not an attempt to distract from Sue Gray’s damning report into the partygate scandal, the No 10 chief of staff has claimed.
Steve Barclay dismissed suggestions that the announcement of extra help for families had been timed to shift the focus away from the report into Covid rule-breaking in Downing Street.
He said the timing is “absolutely logical” because Ofgem provided estimates earlier this week on how the energy price cap is likely to rise in the autumn while the Government also wanted to set out its plans before MPs break for the Queen’s Jubilee and the Whitsun recess.
Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor, will announce in a statement to the House of Commons later today that every household in the country will get extra money taken off their energy bills this autumn.
The Chancellor will pledge an increase to the £200 saving unveiled earlier in the year and scrap plans to make people pay back the amount over the coming years.
To fund the move, he will announce a U-turn on imposing a windfall tax on oil and gas giants that will see the amount companies pay linked to how much they invest in new energy sources.
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