Sunak says he’s ‘always listening’ to be sure policies help
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The Chancellor of the Exchequer announced on Twitter that he was meeting MPs to discuss the current energy crisis which has seen bills ramped up for millions across the country. The energy price cap, the maximum tariff energy suppliers can charge customers, is expected to soar by 50 percent to £2,000 in April. And the cap already went up back in October which saw energy bills surge.
This has led to Red wall voters lashing out at the Prime Minister as the situation has accelerated cost-of-living crisis with fuel poverty becoming a rampant concern.
These are key seats that Mr Johnson was able to snatch from Labour in the 2019 election which consists largely of Brexiteers.
Tory MPs in ‘Red Wall’ seats have told Mr Johnson to act on the cost-of-living crisis or “end up out of power”.
The Prime Minister responded by saying he has taken personal control of the controversy, as he was accused of a “vacuum of leadership” by Labour, which has put forward a plan to hold down costs.
It comes as Mr Johnson’s popularity has plummeted and his leadership has come under the microscope over breaking his own Covid rules by attending a work party.
Now it appears Mr Sunak has stepped in to rescue the Tories.
He posted on Twitter: ”I’ve been on a visit all day today continuing work on our #PlanForJobs as well as meeting MPs to discuss the energy situation.”
Express.co.uk understands that MPs have heaped pressure on Mr Sunak to also relook at scrapping the five percent VAT on energy bills to ease the crisis.
This policy was originally brought in by the EU back in the Nineties.
Mr Johnson had promised that Britain could scrap the rule after Brexit when he ran the referendum campaign back in 2016.
But earlier this month, he rejected calls from 20 Tory MPs to get rid of the policy.
The Prime Minister said at a televised Downing Street press conference: “The argument is that it’s a bit of a blunt instrument.
“And the difficulty is that you end up also cutting fuel bills for a lot of people who perhaps don’t need the support in quite the direct way that we need to give it.”
But now, Mr Sunak might embarrass his boss by U-turning on the decision.
There is also a plan to get rid of green levies to alleviate rising bills.
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These can form as much as a quarter of consumer electricity bills.
Temporarily scrapping them was proposed by the Conservative Environment Network, which includes 116 MPs.
And it was endorsed by the Energy Efficiency Infrastructure Group of businesses and charities.
But the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is said to be opposed to removing any of the levies.
The Northern Research Group consists of 70 MPs warning that Red Wall voters will “lose trust in us” unless taxes and fuel bills are slashed.
The group has come up with a three-point plan to rescue Britain from the cost-of-living crisis.
And one of the measures does involve removing green levies from domestic fuel bills.
The group says this will ease the pain of the predicted £600 leap in the energy price cap set to come into effect in April.
The other two measures to ease the cost-of-living crisis involve raising the threshold for paying the National insurance tax to £12,570, and a two-year freezing of council tax.
Jake Berry, the group’s founder, said: “Our simple, three-point plan would put hundreds of pounds back into your pocket and demonstrate it is the Conservative Party that is the true party of the North and in touch and on the side of our hard-pressed working families.”
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