Cost of living ‘big bazooka’ will help households get through ‘bumpy times’, says PM | Political news

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Boris Johnson has said a ‘big bazooka’ of cost-of-living aid will help struggling families through the tough times ahead.

The Prime Minister was speaking to reporters in Stockton, Teesside, a day after a £15billion package of new measures was unveiled by Chancellor Rishi Sunak.

All households will see their energy bills cut by £400 while the poorest eight million will receive lump sum payments of £650, bolstering support announced earlier in the year, including a £150 cut on most municipal tax bills.

Mr Johnson described the aid, amounting to £1,200 for less well-off households, as a “big bazooka”.

He added: “I’m not going to pretend that this is going to fix everything for everyone immediately. There will always be pressures.

“But it’s a very, very substantial commitment from the government to get us through what I fear will be another turbulent period with rising energy prices around the world.”

He said the measures “will allow us to move through until I think prices start to come down and we’re in a much stronger position.”

The measures will be partly funded by a windfall tax levy on oil and gas companies, which is expected to generate £5bn for the Treasury over the next year.

It comes at a time when soaring energy prices have pushed inflation to a 40-year high of 9% and after regulator Ofgem warned household gas and electricity costs are set to rise an additional £800 in the fall.

Mr Johnson followed his Chancellor Rishi Sunak – who spoke to Sky News earlier – in downplaying the risk that the support package could further boost inflation.

“We looked at that very carefully and I think the answer is no because I don’t think it will necessarily lead to more discretionary spending just because people’s spending is going to increase and has already increased as a result of increased energy and food costs,” the prime minister said.

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