Chancellor using “wiggle room” to ease energy bill burden

Tax experts reckon yesterday’s Autumn Statement shows the Chancellor will use “wiggle room” to reduce the pressure of rising energy bills. Yesterday Mr Osborne reaffirmed plans to move the green […]

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By Vicky Ellis

Tax experts reckon yesterday’s Autumn Statement shows the Chancellor will use “wiggle room” to reduce the pressure of rising energy bills.

Yesterday Mr Osborne reaffirmed plans to move the green levy – ECO – out of household energy bills, which should mean suppliers can lower bills by around £50, as was announced on Monday.

Chris Sanger, Head of Tax Policy at EY said: “The Chancellor seems to be ready to use his limited fiscal wiggle room to take decisive action and ease that burden.”

He said domestic energy bills have risen 160% over the last decade and now make up more than 4.6% of household’s spending compared to 3.1% in 2000.

But Mr Sanger warned the green levy cut doesn’t guarantee an automatic drop in bills: “We need to keep reminding ourselves, however, that the success of these measures depends heavily on the take up and commitment by energy suppliers to pass these savings on to the end consumer.”

EY estimates suggest cutting electricity and gas bills by £50 per household will cost around £1bn to the Treasury coffers, he added.