Ministers ordered to find new “non-fiscal” ways to combat cost of living | Cost of living crisis

Cabinet ministers have been ordered to come up with new “non-fiscal” ways of fighting the cost of living, in a tacit recognition that the government’s spring declaration did not match the enormous scale of the crisis.

Boris Johnson said the government would renew efforts to promote low-utilization schemes, including tax-free childcare of around £ 2,000 a year, to which around 1.3 million households are not yet entitled.

Around 850,000 eligible households also do not claim pension credit, which can be worth over £ 3,300 a year.

But Labor said the government needed to go further and that now was the time for an emergency budget to announce new aid to struggling families. In a new analysis, the party found that families will spend £ 10 billion extra on petrol compared to just this time last year.

Labor’s shadow transport secretary Louise Haigh said: “This is a huge extra cost for working people. The Conservative government needs to draw up an emergency budget to tackle its cost of living crisis – and support Labor’s call to put money back in the pockets of working people. ”

The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has been adamant with the Chambers that there is limited scope for major additional spending.

Nearly 90% of UK households reported an increase in their cost of living last month as they were hit by escalating fuel, food and borrowing costs, according to the Office for National Statistics. It said a quarter of everyone in the survey struggled to pay their bills, and 17% had turned to loans or credit card loans to make ends meet.

Sunak, who announced a 5p fuel tax cut as well as raising the limit on the social security payout threshold, admitted in his statement last month that households would face the biggest cut in their standard of living since the 1950s.

The government, which pushed for a national insurance increase to tackle the NHS backlog, has been urged to go further, especially in helping with the cost of energy bills, beyond the £ 150 municipal tax rebate.

A new targeted communications campaign will highlight areas where people can demand support, and Johnson will tell prime ministers he expects a repression of private companies benefiting from the crisis. This comes when the business secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, wrote to Ofgem to investigate as soon as possible allegations that energy suppliers may be making unjustified increases in consumer direct debits.

Prior to the Cabinet, the Prime Minister said: “With household bills and the cost of living rising in the face of global challenges, easing the burden on the British people and growing our economy must be a team effort across the Cabinet.

“We are offering a strong package of financial support worth £ 22 billion and it is up to all of us to ensure that the aid reaches the hardest hit and hard working families across the country.

“We will continue to do everything we can to support people without letting public spending and debt spiral, while continuing to help the British find good jobs and earn more, no matter where they live.”

Labor has said it will adopt five measures now to ease the burden on household budgets. They include an unexpected tax on oil and gas producers to cut home energy bills, including a VAT cut.

The party said it would give small and medium-sized businesses a business discount with a tax on online giants; scrap the national insurance increase; finance a major upgrade in household insulation; and instruct the National Crime Agency to investigate £ 11.8 billion. of Covid scams and errors.

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