Thank you to constituents that have contacted me about the Emergency Energy Tariff Campaign. I am aware of the impact that global energy price rises have had on consumers, and I welcome the action taken by the Government to support the most vulnerable.
To support consumers, the Government is maintaining the Energy Price Guarantee (EPG) until April 2024. The EPG limits the amount that consumers can be charged per unit of gas or electricity and although energy prices are currently below the level at which EPG payments would be made, its continuation through winter will protect consumers from price spikes.
Alongside this, over 2023-24, the Government is providing targeted support to the most vulnerable through Cost of Living Payments, which will be paid to 8 million households on eligible means-tested-benefits, 6 million people on eligible disability benefits, and 8 million pensioner households. Additionally, to empower local authorities to provide discretionary support to those most in need, the Government has provided £1 billion of extra funding to the Household Support Fund, bringing the total of the Fund to £2.5 billion.
Moreover, benefits and the state pension were increased by 10.1 per cent, in line with inflation, in April 2023. This means that the full yearly amount of the basic State Pension will be over £3,050 higher, in cash terms, than in 2010. Indeed, in April 2024, all working-age benefits will be uprated in line with September 2023 Consumer Price Index Inflation – 6.7 per cent.
More broadly, to shield consumers from fluctuations in the global energy market, the Government is taking steps to safeguard Britain's energy supply and power up Britain. Alongside the measures I have outlined, the Government will bring forward legislation to reduce dependence on higher-emission imports from overseas, including from countries like Russia.