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tv   Your Questions Answered  BBC News  May 26, 2022 12:30pm-1:01pm BST

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�*their own, who, through no fault of their own, are paying the highest price for the inflation we face. to help with the cost of living, we are going to provide significant, targeted support to millions of the most vulnerable people in our society. those on the lowest incomes. pensioners and disabled people. first, people on the lowest incomes. over 8 million households already have income is low enough for the state to be supporting their cost of living to the welfare system. they could be temporarily unemployed and looking for work. unable to work because of long—term sickness or disability, or on low pay and using benefits to top up their wages. right now, they face incredibly difficult choices. so i can announce today we will send directly to around 8 million of the lowest income households, a one off cost of living payment of £650.
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support worth over five ilion pounds to give vulnerable people certainty that we are standing by them at this time. dwp will make the payment in time. dwp will make the payment in two lump sums, the first from july, the second in autumn, with payments from hmrc to those on tax credits followed shortly after. there is no need for people to fill out complicated forms or bureaucracy, we will send the payment straight to their bank accounts. our policy will benefit over 8 million households in receipt of means tested benefits from july. operating in that timeframe could only be done for those on universal credit and our policy will provide a larger average payment this year of £650, where as operating the same benefit by 9% would be worth only on average £530.
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there are two further groups who will need extra, targeted support. many pensioners are disproportionately impacted by higher energy costs. they cannot always increase their incomes through work and because they spend more time at home and are more vulnerable, they often need to keep the heating on for longer. we estimate many people who are eligible for pension credit are not currently claiming it, which means there will be many vulnerable pensioners not receiving means tested benefits. i can announce today that from the autumn we will send over 8 million pensioner households who receive the winter fuel payment and extra one—off pensioner, cost of living payment of £300. disabled people also face extra costs in their day—to—day lives by having energy intensive equipment around the home or workplace, so to help the 6 million people who receive non—means tested disability benefits we will send
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them from september and extra one—off disability cost of living payment worth £150. many disabled people will also receive the payment of £650 i have already announced, taking their total cost of living payments to £800. and i can reassure the house that next year, subject to the house that next year, subject to the secretary of state's review, benefits will be operated by the september's cpi, which on current forecasts is likely to be significantly higher than the forecast inflation rate for next year. similarly, the triple lock will apply to the state pension. of course we recognise the risk that with any policy there may be small numbers of people who will fall between the cracks. for example, it is not possible right now for dwp or hmrc to identify people on housing benefit who are not also claiming other benefits. so to support them
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and others we will extend the household support fund delivered by local authorities by half £1 billion from october. this is a significant set of interventions to support the most vulnerable in our country. we will legislate to deliver this support on the same terms in every part of the united kingdom, including northern ireland. and taken together our direct cash payments will help one third of all uk households with the cost of living support worth £9 billion. madam deputy speaker, we are meeting our responsibility to provide the most help to those on the lowest incomes. i believe that is fair and i am confident the house will agree. but there are many other families who do not require state support in normal times, they are also facing challenging times. is it fair to
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leave them unsupported? the answer must surely be no. while it is impossible for the government to solve every problem, we can and will ease the burden as we help the entire country through the worst of this crisis. so we will provide more support with the rising cost of energy and that support will be universal. earlierthis energy and that support will be universal. earlier this year we announced £9 billion to help with the cost of energy, including a council tax rebate of £150 to tens of millions of households. and we plan to provide all households with £200 off their energy bills from october with the cost of that repaid over the following five years. since then the outlook for energy prices has changed. i have heard people's concerns over the impact of these repayments on future bills, so i have decided that those repayments will be cancelled. so for the
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avoidance of doubt, this support is now unambiguously a grant. and furthermore, we have decided that the £200 of support for household energy bills will be doubled to £400 for everyone. we are on the side of hard—working families with £6 billion of financial support. so, madam deputy speaker, to summarise our strategy is to combat and reduce inflation over time through independent monetary policy, fiscal responsibility and supply—side activism. we are raising emergency funds to help millions of the most vulnerable families who are struggling right now and all households will benefit with help for energy bills with £400 with not a penny to repay. in total, the measures i have announced today provide support worth £15 billion.
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combined with the plans we have already announced, that means we are supporting families with the cost of living with £37 billion, or 1.5% of gdp. that is higher or similar then countries like france, germany, italy and japan, and i am proud to say that around three quarters of that total support will go to vulnerable households. as a result of the measures we have announced today and the action we have already taken this year, the vast majority of households will receive £550. pensioners will receive £850. and almost all of the 8 million most vulnerable households in the country will in total receive support of £1200. let me put this into context. the house will have noted the news
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from ofgem earlier this week that they currently expect the energy price cut to rise in october to £2800. that implies an average increase in people's bills this year ofjust increase in people's bills this year of just under increase in people's bills this year ofjust under £1200. the same amount our policies will provide for the most vulnerable people this year. i know there are other pressures. i am not trying to claim we have solved the entire problem for everyone. no government could. but i hope that when people hear the significant steps we are taking, the millions we are helping, they will feel some of the burden eased. some of the pressure is lifted. and they will know this government is standing by them. madam deputy speaker, in
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conclusion, supporting people with the cost of living is only one part of our plan for a stronger economy, a plan that is creating more jobs, cutting taxes on working people, reducing our borrowing and debt, driving businesses to invest and innovate more, unleashing a skills revolution, seizing the benefits of brexit and levelling up growth in all parts of the united kingdom, so british people can trust this government because we have a plan for a stronger economy and i commend it to this house.— it to this house. shadow chancellor, rachel reeves. _ it to this house. shadow chancellor, rachel reeves. madam _ it to this house. shadow chancellor, rachel reeves. madam deputy- it to this house. shadow chancellor, - rachel reeves. madam deputy speaker, after today's announcement let there be no doubt about who is winning the battle of ideas in britain. it is the labour party. today it feels like the chancellor has finally realised the problem is that the country are facing. we first called
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for a windfall tax on oil and gas producers nearly five months ago to help struggling families and pensioners. today he has announced that policy but he can't dare say the words, it is a policy that dare not speak its name with this chancellor. and it was labour that first highlighted the unfairness of this government's by now, pay later compulsory loan scheme. it should not have taken a rocket scientist to work out that this would have cut it and we pointed it out at the time. but that is just the mark of this chancellor, announced now, ditch later. here he is once again the treasury's one man rebuttal unit, the chancellor himself. for months, it has been clear that more was necessary to help people bring their bills down, so what took this
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government so long? every day that they have refused to act, £53 million more added to britain's household bills during this cost of living crisis, this government's dither and delay has cost our country dearly. on this side of the house we welcome the fact that the government is finally acting on our calls to introduce a windfall tax. absolutely, our call. it is good to see the snp you turning today as well to say they are also in favour of a windfall tax on oil and gas profits, well done to the snp. madam deputy speaker, it was a painful journey to get the government to this point. first, conservative ministers said the oil and gas producers are struggling, that was the education secretary i think. but
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then the bp chief executive said that the energy crisis was a cash machine for his business. so let me go to the second defence. ministers claimed a windfall tax would put off vital investment, but the industry said a windfall tax would not even change their plans. so then they said a windfall tax would be un—conservative. so un—conservative, madam deputy speaker, that margaret thatcher, george osborne and now this government are doing exactly that. finally the chancellor himself said, it would be silly, silly to offer help now, given they didn't know the full scale of the challenge. what nonsense. it should not take half £1 million of publicly funded focus groups for a chancellor to realise that helping families and pensioners is exactly the right thing to do. now, every day for five
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months the prime minister sent conservative mps out to attack the windfall tax and yet defend an increase in taxes on working people. he has made them vote against it not once, not twice, but three times. and for months he has sent his mps to defend the litany of lawbreaking in number 10 downing street set out in number 10 downing street set out in the sue gray report yesterday. there is a lesson here for conservative mps. there is a lesson here for conservative mp5. you can't believe a word that this prime minister says. as long as he is in office he is going to continue making calls —— full is out of each and every one of you. if they keep him there, madam deputy speaker, that is the choice that they are making. the problem, madam deputy speaker, is that you can't fake fairness. you either
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believe in it or you don't. labour called for a windfall tax because it is the right thing to do. the conservatives are doing it because they needed a new headline and we see that from all the other thing is that the chancellor did not address today. the non—domiciles keeping their tax privileges while they increase taxes on working people. young working people paying more but those who earn money buying and selling stocks and shares not paying a penny more. contracts handed out to conservative friends and donors while british businesses miss out. global tech giants are making billions in profits while smaller businesses and the energy intensive industries struggle with higher bills and higher taxes from the conservative party. and £11.8 billion lost in fraud because of a total lack of respect for taxpayers'
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money. that is why we should have had an emergency budget today. despite the hike in national insurance, to cut business rates for high street and small businesses, to provide help for energy intensive firms and ensure that every pound of taxpayers' money is spent wisely. madam deputy speaker, we will look closely at the detail of today's announcements. of course, most of them seem to have been written by us, but so far we have seen nothing to suggest that this conservative government has the ideas or the energy to tackle the challenges that we face as a country. a labour government would have addressed the underlying weaknesses in our economy so we can stop the spiral of inflation, lift wages and provide greater security for families and for our country. the truth is that they are running our economy and
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people's living standards into the ground. we are forecast to have the slowest growth and the highest inflation in the g7. this government has weakened the foundations of our economy, leaving us exposed to shocks as we lurch from crisis to crisis. and still they refused to come forward with a real plan to fix our broken system and provide the security we need to face the future with confidence. that means boosting our energy security as well. we need to do much more to reduce reliance on imported oil and gas. that is why labour�*s energy security plan includes a programme of home insulation to reduce bills, notjust for one year, but for years to come, and to get us all the way to net zero. it is why we have urged the government to double onshore wind capacity and to end the delay nuclear power. and while we are at
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it, why did this tory government get rid of our gas storage?— rid of our gas storage? order, order. rid of our gas storage? order, order- it _ rid of our gas storage? order, order- it is — rid of our gas storage? order, order. it is important - rid of our gas storage? order, order. it is important that - rid of our gas storage? order, order. it is important that we | rid of our gas storage? order, - order. it is important that we also hear— order. it is important that we also hear the _ order. it is important that we also hear the shadow chancellor. rachel reeves. while _ hear the shadow chancellor. rachel reeves. while we _ hear the shadow chancellor. rachel reeves. while we are _ hear the shadow chancellor. rachel reeves. while we are at _ hear the shadow chancellor. rachel reeves. while we are at it, - hear the shadow chancellor. rachel reeves. while we are at it, why - hear the shadow chancellor. rachel reeves. while we are at it, why did| reeves. while we are at it, why did this tory government get rid of our gas storage which would have left us better protected from world fluctuations in prices? when will this government provide the strong leadership that this country needs? there are a number of questions for the chancellor about his announcement today. how many people are still waiting for the support they were promised in march? a third of the chancellor plus �*s own constituents are still waiting for their council tax discount. is it their council tax discount. is it the case that households are still being asked to pay the supplier of last resort costs for those energy suppliers that have gone bust as a result of a decade of failed energy market regulation? can the
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chancellor told the house how is this pack is being funded outside of the proceeds of a windfall tax? and if you have more than one home, do you get multiple discounts on your energy bills? i know the chancellor has adopted two of our ideas today, but can i ask what he has not adopted a third? a cut in vat on energy bills. it was once touted as the big brexit bonus, but he has ditched that as well. madam deputy speaker, this is a discredited, chaotic and rudderless conservative government whose policies rarely last more than three months. we pushed for a windfall tax, they adopted it. we said the buy now pay later scheme was wrong, and now they have ditched it. this government is out of ideas, out of touch and out of time. when it comes to the big
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issues facing this country, the position is now clear, we lead, they follow. order, order. we are not going any further_ order, order. we are not going any further unless you are quiet. thank you _ further unless you are quiet. thank you. chairman of the select committee, mel stride. i beg your pardon. _ committee, mel stride. i beg your pardon. it— committee, mel stride. i beg your pardon, it would be best if i allowed _ pardon, it would be best if i allowed the chancellor to reply to the shadow chancellor! i am not trying _ the shadow chancellor! ! am not trying to— the shadow chancellor! i am not trying to change the rules, i am 'ust trying to change the rules, i am just trying — trying to change the rules, i am just trying to go a bit faster. chancellor of the exchequer. thank you, madam deputy speaker. ithank the honourable lady opposite for her contribution. her response was based on a fundamental misunderstanding of why now is the right time to act. since february and march, three
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significant things have changed. the situation in ukraine has altered considerably from first envisaged, inflation is now attacking considerably higher than previously expected, and finally and most importantly, we now have concrete information on the autumn and winter energy price cap. with this information we were better able to both design and scale our policies. it is why with time and thought our energy profits levy has a very generous investment allowance built into it. not something the blunt instrument the party opposite would have. that is why because we were patient we have been able to scale our support for the problem, which means our proposals are in fact more generous than those offered by the party opposite. because they rushed it, they got their sums wrong. madam
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deputy speaker, we all make mistakes and being able to change course is not a weakness, it is a strength. i will not criticise the party opposite for getting it wrong, just so long as they can acknowledge that with this package we have got it right. briefly, madam deputy speaker, to address some specific points, the honourable lady i think talked about energy security and somewhat bizarrely reflected on the lack of investment in nuclear capacity. well, this is the government that is correcting the mistakes of the past. she asked about energy efficiency, this is the government that is investing £6 billion to improve energy efficiency. she asked about business rates, this is the government that is delivering a 50% discount on business rates for our high streets next year. she talked about growth, well, one of the best ways to drive
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growth is to drive up business investment, something the party opposite will never understand. she also asked about vat, and this goes to the heart of the issue. vat is worth on average about £140 of support. our policy universally to all households in this country is worth £400. that is the reason not to do vat. what we are doing is far more generous. madam deputy speaker, the final point i will make is about ideas. for our constituents there are only good ideas and bad ideas and whether you can do anything about them and this government can, because we are always on the side of the british people. this government has been faced with challenges unlike any other and at every step it is the thing is that the party opposite said that were not possible. we averted a mass
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unemployment crisis they predicted because of our intervention with filo, we lead the country out of the pandemic with a vaccine programme, they would have left us unable to deliver. each time i am at this dispatch box opposite the honourable lady i find myself thinking the same thing, the public can see through it. they know the difference between a party playing politics and a government trying to help. thank ou. government trying to help. thank yom enough- _ government trying to help. thank you. enough. and _ government trying to help. thank you. enough. and now— government trying to help. thank you. enough. and now we - government trying to help. thank you. enough. and now we will. government trying to help. thank. you. enough. and now we will hear from _ you. enough. and now we will hear from the _ you. enough. and now we will hear from the chairman of the select committee, mel stride.- from the chairman of the select committee, mel stride. thank you, madam deputy _ committee, mel stride. thank you, madam deputy speaker. _ committee, mel stride. thank you, madam deputy speaker. can - committee, mel stride. thank you, madam deputy speaker. can i - committee, mel stride. thank you, - madam deputy speaker. can i commend this announcement broadly. it is a very significant intervention my right honourable friend has made, channelling billions of pounds in a targeted series of transfer payments to those who most need it. as my right honourable friend will know, similar approaches were taken in the
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pandemic and there were many who missed out from support who fell through the gaps. i note the additional increase in the household fun of half a billion, which is welcome. can i right honourable friend set out to the house how he arrived at that figure and why he feels the demand? and i also ask about inflation? this will stimulate the economy, granted they will come with tax increases as well, but would he share with the house his assessment of the inflationary impact of the announcement that he has just impact of the announcement that he hasjust made? finally, will he appear before the treasury select committee immediately after recess so we can look at these matters in greater detail? i so we can look at these matters in greater detail?— greater detail? i thank my right honourable _ greater detail? i thank my right honourable friend _ greater detail? i thank my right honourable friend for— greater detail? i thank my right honourable friend for his - greater detail? i thank my right - honourable friend for his questions. i thank him also for his thoughtful advice on how best the government should respond to the current situation. that is why we put the household support fund in place with extra support because very specifically the one group, those on means tested benefits that we cannot
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deliver the money to automatically and those who receive only housing benefit, because that is done by local authorities, which is the main group that needs that specific help, but there may well be others which is why this fund is there. in terms of the inflationary impact, i believe it will be manageable, but he is right to highlight it which is why support is targeted, where it can make the most difference, it is temporary and it is timely and it gets help work is required and being fiscally responsible will help us combat inflation in the long run. snp spokesman, kirsty blackman. it snp spokesman, kirsty blackman. [it is snp spokesman, kirsty blackman. is quite snp spokesman, kirsty blackman. it is quite amusing to hear the chancellor talked about this being timely. it is timely, itjust happens to have happened the week of the sue gray report. itjust happens that that report came out yesterday and the chancellor has suddenly realised today that people are really struggling. he has suddenly realised he needs to announce something about it. the chancellor
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stood up in the spring statement that he made when he announced the energy loan and said look at these amazing things i am announcing and i genuinely believe it that that is the best this government could do. now he has changed his mind. he has listened to the cause of the opposition, he has listened to the calls of people up and down these islands who are struggling, who are struggling in many cases more than they have ever struggled before. i don't understand, madam deputy speaker, why he has announced only a £15 billion package. he has got £28 billion of fiscal headroom in public sector net debt. he has got £32 billion of fiscal headroom in balancing the current budget. those are the obr's figures from march. yet, he is refusing to spend that money now in the timely, targeted way that is needed now for people. i
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am very glad he has announced the money. we are going to leave that debate now, the chancellor announcing a temporary windfall tax on oil and gas companies and payoffs to the most vulnerable members of society, elderly people, people with disabilities, people on the lowest incomes, and also a universal grant of £400 for people to help with their energy costs. you can continue watching on bbc parliament, but for us now it is time for the weather. today we have got a brisk westerly wind. across parts of northern england and north wales we have had cloud, rain and drizzle and that is moving south
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was, the rain petering out. in the southeast with brighter skies there are temperatures of 21 degrees. still quite chilly in northern parts of scotland. this weather front is bringing the rain and drizzle south and it is weakening as it runs southwards and what is left of the clyde will get blown away into the english channel. skies will clear away from scotland and it will keep blustery showers going, especially in the north—west. elsewhere, with clear skies and light winds, it will be cooler than last night. moving into friday and one of these is heading our way. into friday and one of these is heading ourway. high into friday and one of these is heading our way. high pressure means dry weather and sunshine, but it is not arriving everywhere. we still have strong winds in scotland and thatis have strong winds in scotland and that is where we will see heavy showers in the north of the country. as the cloud fills in southern scotland, northern ireland and northern england, there will be some light showers. in wales and southern england it should stay dry and it will feel quite warm. heading into
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the weekend the main story is the cooler air that is going to be heading our way and temperatures will be dropping and we may see a few more showers arriving in the second half of the weekend. there could be one or two showers in northern ireland on saturday, but probably a dry start and we will see the cloud spread out a little bit during the day. the temperature is probably peaking at around 20 degrees in south wales. it may make a 17 in the central belt of scotland. but the high pressure that has been trying to build towards the uk will retreat back up towards iceland and it keeps these northerly winds heading our way on sunday and that will bring in this much cooler air. with pressure dropping we are likely to find more cloud, thicker cloud on sunday and that could lead to a few showers, particularly in eastern areas. drier in the west, which is where we will find the highest temperatures. only 12 degrees in newcastle and norwich, so
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rather cool. the chancellor announces £15 billion worth of help for millions of families in the face of the rising cost of living. rishi sunak promises payments to the most vulnerable — including elderly people, those with disabilites and households on the lowest incomes. we will send, directly to around 8 million of the lowest income households, a one—off cost of living payment of £650. there will also be a grant for all households — the plans will partly be paid for through a one—off tax on oil and gas companies — we'll have the details on what's just been announced. also this lunchtime. prayers for the children and teachers killed at a primary school in texas — as it emerges the gunman wrote about the attack beforehand on facebook. ukraine says russian forces have
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attacked more than 40 towns

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