Downing Street considers emergency loan for energy companies

Will energy companies get a line of credit to stop the massive price hikes? Downing Street considers emergency loan for energy companies

  • Downing Street is considering an emergency loan scheme for energy companies to stave off a slump in bills, it was alleged last night.
  • It came as Rishi Sunak started talking to fickle Tory backbenchers about Britain’s looming cost of living crisis
  • Chancellor was in ‘listening mode’ speaking to groups of MPs about their concerns over potential energy bill hikes










Downing Street is considering an emergency loan scheme for energy companies to stave off a hefty bill hike, it was claimed last night.

It came as Rishi Sunak started talks with troublesome Tory backseats about the looming cost of living in Britain.

The chancellor is said to be in ‘listening mode’ speaking to groups of MPs about their concerns about the large rise in energy bills expected when the price cap is lifted in April.

The prime minister is expected to hold further talks with Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Minister of Affairs Kwasi Kwarteng this week as they try to agree on measures to help families in trouble with their energy bills.

He also held talks with Boris Johnson on Sunday night as pressure mounted on the government to protect families from hikes expected to reach hundreds of pounds.

No 10 officials would consider an ’emergency credit facility’ for businesses to help them avoid their bills. But there is concern that smaller companies may not be able to take on such credit risk.

Experts predict that rising wholesale prices will lead to a 50 percent increase in energy bills in April.

Last night, Labor urged Mr Johnson and fellow Brexiter Michael Gove to stick to their 2016 pledge that the UK would eliminate 5 percent VAT on domestic energy bills when it leaves the EU, which would mean an average savings of would bring in almost £90.

Mr Sunak Will Hold More Meetings With Tory Mps In The Coming Days To Discuss Cost Of Living

Mr Sunak will hold more meetings with Tory MPs in the coming days to discuss cost of living

Boris Johnson Is Under Mounting Pressure After A New Poll Showed That A Third Of Britons Fear They Will Not Be Able To Pay Their Energy Bills This Year Due To The Worsening Cost Of Living Crisis

Boris Johnson is under mounting pressure after a new poll showed that a third of Britons fear they will not be able to pay their energy bills this year due to the worsening cost of living crisis

The Energy Price Cap Will Be Revised In April And Experts Expect It To Rise By More Than 50 Percent

The energy price cap will be revised in April and experts expect it to rise by more than 50 percent

But ministers would keep the idea cool, because it would help everyone equally and not do enough to lower the bills of the lowest paid.

Mr Sunak will hold more meetings with Tory MPs in the coming days to discuss the cost of living.

One MP said: ‘The Chancellor was in full listening mode. He said we’d see something well before the April price hikes… but all the ramifications needed to be considered.”

Asked about the rise in electricity prices yesterday, Mr Johnson said: ‘I have met the Chancellor continuously. I understand the pressure people face.

“This is the result of global price spikes due to the economic slowdown from Covid.

“We have to help people, especially people with low incomes.”

A government source said: ‘We are looking at a range of different things that are worth investigating, but we are nowhere near making a decision.

“It’s not like the Covid pandemic where a decision has to be made yesterday. There is time – and it’s important to get it right.”

The Prime Minister is expected to hold further talks with Mr Sunak and Minister of Affairs Kwasi Kwarteng this week.

Conservative MP Stephen McPartland told the BBC the government should introduce ‘credit facilities’ to help energy companies deal with volatile prices. He said this would allow companies to tap into financial reserves as an alternative to raising bills. The BBC said Downing Street was looking into the idea.

Backbenchers Have Warned The Chancellor That The 1.25 Percent Increase In National Insurance Policies, Which Will Take Effect In April, Would Put Pressure On Household Finances.

Backbenchers have warned the chancellor that the 1.25 percent increase in national insurance policies, which will take effect in April, would put pressure on household finances.

Labor has proposed cutting VAT on energy bills for a year, alongside a windfall on the oil and gas industry in the North Sea, to help those struggling.

Today, the party will table a motion from the House of Commons that, if passed, would guarantee parliamentary time for a bill to lower VAT.

The party said it could come into effect alongside its plan to extend the £140 Warm Homes discount to 9.3 million people. Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer told his MPs last night: ‘It is Labor that is leading the way and providing ideas and solutions.

“Meanwhile, what do the Tories offer struggling families? Nothing. Yesterday Nadhim Zahawi [Education Secretary] on the radio advocated poverty on behalf of oil companies rather than focusing on the concerns of ordinary families.”

Ten Ways Pastors Can Relieve Pain

Boris Johnson has said he and Rishi Sunak are “looking at what we can do” to cushion the blow from the projected 50 percent rise in energy bills. Here are ten ways they can help:

SCRAP VAT ON BILLS

Labor wants the 5 percent VAT on domestic energy bills abolished, saving families on average around £90 next year. Ministers are cool about the approach, but it is not ruled out.

REMOVE GREEN LEVY

Tory backers have demanded the temporary abolition of a green tax that makes up 13 percent of the cost of energy bills, but ministers say this is an important part of government policy.

WIND FALL TAX ON OIL Giants

Profits of oil and gas companies in the North Sea are taxed at 30 percent corporate tax plus a 10 percent surcharge. Labor wants this to be increased to 50 percent to raise at least £1.2bn.

EXTEND WARM HOMES DISCOUNT

2.2 million households will receive the £140 Warm Homes Discount on energy bills. Ministers would look at some form of enlargement. Labor wants to expand eligibility so that 9.3 million households get it.

INCREASE OTHER WINTER BENEFITS

Some retirees are paid £25 if the temperature drops to or below freezing for seven days. This could be increased along with the winter fuel surcharge.

GIVE BENEFITS IN GENERAL

Campaigners want Universal Credit to be increased to help low-income households. A temporary raise of £20 a week ended in the fall.

EASY COST OF SUPPLIER FAILURE

Energy companies are asking for a loan to spread the costs associated with business failures – estimated at £94 per customer – over a longer billing period.

A LOAN SCHEME

The Treasury is considering industry proposals for a much larger £20bn loan to delay all elements of the price hikes.

DELAY TAX RISES

Jacob Rees-Mogg is said to have called for a 1.25 percent increase in national insurance to be postponed.

TARGETED SUBSIDIES

Labor has urged ministers to set up a £600m fund to support energy-intensive businesses that are particularly hit by higher bills.

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