BBC audience member erupts at energy boss at costs
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BBC Debate Night hosted a live audience in Edinburgh on Wednesday evening and the rising cost of energy bills became the hot topic of the evening. An outspeaking audience member decried the state of the energy market amid high bills for households and soaring profits for providers. She demanded to know why a company making £20 on the back of energy payers should not hand £19 back to the consumer.
The audience member told the panel: “On Sunday the head of E.ON got interviewed with Jo Corburn on the Sunday Politics thing.
“He was making a point and he said oh but we only make £20 off each customer.
“But the way it came out I felt sorry for him, I did.
“I thought there is something wrong, even if you made a pound of a customer at least you would still be in profit.
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She continued: “Give the £19 back to us to put in the meter!”
Scotland’s Finance Secretary has “cautiously welcomed” the Chancellor’s £15 billion support package to ease the cost-of-living crisis, but warned a long-term solution is still needed.
Rishi Sunak announced on Thursday that millions of households would receive a £400 energy bill discount – doubling the previous pledge and dropping the requirement for the money to be repaid – as well as a £5 billion windfall tax to be levied on oil and gas giants.
The Chancellor said his plan for a 25 percent energy profits levy would be coupled with a new incentive, almost doubling the tax relief available on investment.
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In a statement on Thursday, Kate Forbes said that households would be “relieved” at the support, which also includes a one-off £650 payment for eight million of the poorest families, a £300 winter payment for pensioners and £150 for people in receipt of disability benefits.
Many households will be relieved to see the support belatedly announced today, but we still need a long-term solution to the cost-of-living crisis and reassurance that the UK Government is going to tackle long-term inequalities rather than provide one-off bursts of crisis support,” she said.
Ahead of the announcement, Ms Forbes called on the Chancellor to use all of the £30 billion fiscal headroom to counter the effects of rising prices and inflation.
“Rather than listen to our plea for a comprehensive funding package that fully addresses the unprecedented rise in the cost of living and uses the full £30 billion of fiscal headroom, this piecemeal approach makes it highly likely that more support will be needed later when energy prices rise significantly in the autumn,” she added.
“There is also a severe lack of support for businesses – many of them are still struggling to recover from the pandemic and now face crippling increases in energy costs and the damaging impacts of Brexit on supply chains and the labour market.
“Without urgent economic support there is a real risk that the UK economy is heading for a recession.
“Inflation is at its highest levels in 40 years and the UK Government’s failure to fully invest in increasing incomes, tackling inequality and boosting economic competitiveness will only risk pushing households into further debt and poverty.
“The UK Government has almost £30 billion of fiscal headroom, spending only half of this during a cost of living crisis does not go far enough, especially when a further £5 billion from the windfall tax will be raised.”
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