The British government’s options for assisting people facing skyrocketing energy bills include lending to energy suppliers, which could reduce bills by up to 500 pounds ($587) per year, according to the Daily Telegraph newspaper on Saturday.
Britain’s energy regulator said on Friday that energy bills will rise by 80 per cent to an average of 3,549 pounds per year beginning in October, prompting calls for immediate government assistance to households and businesses.
According to the Telegraph, Finance Minister Nadhim Zahawi has prepared a range of government support options for the next prime minister, who will take office in early September.
According to Zahawi, he has been working on a plan to help energy suppliers with loans in order to provide them with more liquidity, which could “put a downward pressure on the price cap by anywhere between (400 and 500 pounds).” The previously rejected idea was now “back on the table,” according to the newspaper.
Increases in wholesale prices are passed on to British consumers via a three-monthly price cap.
According to the Telegraph, other options being considered by the finance minister include freezing the price cap, increasing state benefits, and establishing a grant scheme for small businesses.
Zahawi expressed concern that focusing only on those who receive state benefits would exclude others, such as pensioners and middle-income earners, who will likely struggle to pay their bills.
Soaring energy prices, exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, have driven British inflation to 40-year highs, but Britain’s response has been hampered by the race to replace Prime Minister Boris Johnson, which is scheduled to end on September 5.
Liz Truss, the foreign minister and frontrunner to replace Johnson, has stated that if she is elected prime minister next month, she will look into doing more to assist businesses dealing with rising energy costs.
(Adapted from TheGuardian.com)