BBC Breakfast: Charlie clashes with MP over energy bills
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Conservative MP and Rishi Sunak supporter Mark Spencer dismissed the prospect of an immediate cost of living help to the most hit. The Commons leader claimed the “reasonable approach” to follow to tackle the ongoing crisis is to wait until the autumn and winter “once we’re in possession of the full extent of the challenge that we face”.
Mr Spencer told BBC Breakfast: “The Government does recognise there’s a huge challenge coming.
“But the time to respond to that is in the autumn and the winter, at that moment once we’re in possession of the full facts and the full extent of the challenge that we face.
“I think that’s a reasonable approach.
“We do recognise that people are under and will be under huge pressure as we get to the winter months and the cost of heating their homes becomes much more challenging.”
The comments came as BBC Breakfast host Charlie Stayt challenged the minister on which measures the government is planning to take to support the most vulnerable.
Referring to an earlier BBC Breakfast interview held with the Chairman of Utilita Energy, Mr Stayt pointed out: “Derek Lickorish, who we spoke to a short time ago, said the government is sitting on its hands.
“He said there is now on this earth that we as in his company can cope with what’s lying ahead.
“He can see exactly what’s happening, but the government can’t.”
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In the interview, Mr Lickorish also urged the Government to put in place a social tariff directed at the most vulnerable starting from the 1st of January.
Mr Spencer said: “Target those payments at most vulnerable households and those who are under the most pressure.
“At the same time, however, going forward with a medium term to long term plan to deal with the energy markets that we are seeing.
“So we’ve got good energy mix into the future and trying to support those through the challenges they face.
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“This is exactly what the Government is trying to do”.
Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi and Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng announced they will be holding talks with energy sector bosses after new figures forecasts the possibility for the price cap to hit more than £4200 on Thursday.
In the meeting, Mr Zahawi, Mr Kwarteng, and gas and energy company executives will discuss measures to ease the current cost of living.
The group are expected to submit a breakdown of extended profits and payouts as well as investment plans for the next three years.
Speaking at Sky News, Education Secretary James Cleverly confirmed the meeting: “The Chancellor and the Business Secretary have hauled in the leaders of the energy companies to hold them to account, to discuss with them what they are going to do with these unexpected, unplanned, unprecedented profits that they have been making because of that sudden spike in energy prices caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine”.
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