Rishi Sunak grilled by Martin Lewis on £200 rebate
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The financial journalist interviewed the chancellor on his ITV Martin Lewis Money Show and said that the money promised to help Britons tackle the cost of living crisis is “not going to come close”. He pressed the Chancellor to do more to help pensioners and vulnerable Britons so they don’t have to choose between freezing and eating.
Mr Lewis said: “There is a massive crunch on the cost of living which for a typical house is going to cost at least £1,000 a year.”
He continued: “You are putting out there £350 – of which £200 is a loan.
“When I asked people what they wanted me to ask you, what they said was ‘ask him why the hell he’s not giving us more?’”
In response, the Chancellor said: “£350 is a significant sum of money that will help people and we are doing some other things to help people.
“The National Living Wage is going up in April – 6.6 percent so that’s quite a significant increase – that’s worth £1,000 a year.”
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Mr Sunak added: “At the end of last year we cut the Universal Credit taper rate – that again will mean an extra £1,000.”
Martin said it showed that the Government was helping with some of these costs but the individual needs to shoulder the burden.
He added: “There are some people that are at home more that have much higher energy usage – where this is not going to come close to covering it. Are you going to do more?”
Mr Sunak said the Government was doing a lot more including investing money to improve energy efficiency and offering a £150 rebate on council tax.
The Chancellor added that pensioners can get up to £300 Winter Fuel Payment, Pension Credit and a Warm Home Discount of £140.
Some viewers expressed concern that they would find it difficult to repay the loan and asked if it could be turned down.
The answer was no but Mr Sunak reassured people that they shouldn’t see it as debt.
Meanwhile, the £150 council tax rebate will be paid in April to households in band A to D.
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In addition, local authorities will have a discretionary fund to help anyone who has fallen through the gap.
Poorer households who don’t pay council tax will be offered help through this discretionary fund.
Britons should get in touch with their local council and ask for help.
They may also be eligible for assistance through the Household Support Fund – some councils have been sending low income families of cheques up to £100 to help with the cost of living crisis.
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