Cost of government energy bill support schemes halved

Financial support for rising energy bills will cost £69 billion, the National Audit Office has estimated

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The government is likely to spend less money on supporting British households and businesses amid soaring energy prices.

That’s according to a report by the National Audit Office (NAO), which estimates the combined cost of all energy support schemes is £69 billion, half the original estimates.

The UK’s independent public spending watchdog found that risks of overpayments are greater with support to businesses compared with households.

The NAO also suggests fraud and error risks are also higher in Northern Ireland as suppliers are subject to different regulatory oversight compared with Britain.

Gareth Davies, head of the NAO, said: “Similar to the government’s assistance during Covid, the energy bills support schemes were introduced universally, and at speed, to reduce the impact of soaring energy costs for people and businesses.

“This approach led to compromises – introducing these interventions at speed meant that BEIS has less time to consider fraud and error risks; and their universal nature meant that a significant number of households received financial support they did not need.”

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