Think tank urges Chancellor to give £300 cheques for soaring energy bills

Additional payments of up to £500 should be given to those most in need, the Social Market Foundation says

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A think tank has today urged the Chancellor to offer cash payments of £300 to help households handle the pressure from rising energy bills.

Dr Aveek Bhattacharya, Chief Economist of the Social Market Foundation, said that consumers should get these grants with an additional £200 for those on Universal Credit or legacy benefits.

Dr Bhattacharya has also warned that other proposals, including cutting VAT on bills, expansion of the Warm Home Discount and energy companies bailout are all “flawed”.

He said these measures would make energy cheaper and encourage consumption.

Instead, these cash payments could help the government respond to “future shocks”.

He added: “It is clear that some action is needed, but the government should avoid the temptation to over-complicate its response and muddle its environmental objectives by subsidising energy.

“Instead, it should make direct cash payments to households and leave them to figure out how best to address their needs. A ‘cost of living bonus’, with a higher payment for those on low incomes, would do a lot to help struggling families and clearly demonstrate that the government is on their side.”

ELN has approached the Treasury for a response.

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