Energy price crisis: Liz Truss should not be helping the richest more than the poorest – Scotsman comment

Faced with skyrocketing energy prices that would inevitably result in the deaths of people forced to turn off their heating and cut down on hot food, Liz Truss had to act.

And the energy price guarantee, which will restrict the average domestic bill to £2,500 for two years from October, is undoubtedly a considerable financial commitment by her new government.

However, as taxpayers we should always demand that our money is spent in the most effective and efficient way as possible. In this case, that means targeting help to those who need it most.

So a new analysis by the Resolution Foundation think tank that the wealthiest families stand to gain more than the poorest is deeply concerning. It found that the richest fifth of the population would gain an average of about £1,300 this winter, compared to £1,100 for the poorest fifth.

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Was it completely beyond the wit of government to have found a way to flip those figures, so that the poorest got the extra £200, on average? It is hard to adequately describe just how much more that money would mean to people on the lowest incomes, for whom every penny counts.

In addition, the think tank found that, when combined with the National Insurance cut, the wealthiest ten per cent would benefit by an average of £4,700 in 2023/24, compared to £2,200 for the poorest ten per cent.

Giving large sums of public money to people who do not really need it sounds like the kind of “handout” any true Conservative would oppose. Doing so while short-changing those facing the most desperate situations is downright immoral.

Many people still face tough choices over energy use this winter (Picture: Peter Byrne/PA Wire)
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