My £15billion will help ease the cost of living crisis, but we must prioritize economic growth over state handouts

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OVER THE past few months, I’ve met people from all walks of life – from across the country – and I know the cost of living is a big concern for many.

Energy bills have risen and inflation is expected to exceed 9% this year.

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I know Sun on Sunday readers have been worried, perhaps struggling to make ends meet or planning for the future given the uncertainty ahead
This week I announced targeted support of £15billion which will put money straight into the pockets of millions of people across the UK

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This week I announced targeted support of £15billion which will put money straight into the pockets of millions of people across the UK

After almost two years of living through the pandemic, people are facing rising bills.

People feel like it’s a fight to watch.

I know Sun on Sunday readers have been worried, perhaps struggling to make ends meet or to plan for the future given the uncertainty ahead.

Things have not been easy, but just like during the pandemic, we are not going to leave people to face these challenges alone.

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That’s why this week I announced targeted support of £15 billion that will put money straight into the pockets of millions of people across the UK.

Eight million of the UK’s most vulnerable households will receive £1,200 in aid and all households will get a £400 cut on their energy bills from October.

I firmly believe in helping the most vulnerable in our society.

That is why this support program aims to help the millions of people with the lowest incomes, pensioners and people with disabilities.

For eight million people on benefits, we’re sending a one-time cost-of-living payment of £650 straight to your bank account.

The Department for Work and Pensions will make the payment in two lump sums, the first from July and the second in the autumn.

To ensure that over eight million pensioners are kept warm this winter, we are sending an extra £300 to everyone who receives the winter fuel payment.

And to help people with disabilities with the additional costs they will face, all disability claimants in the UK will receive a cost of living allowance of £150.

On top of this, each household will receive £400 of help with their energy bills through an extension of the Energy Bill Assistance Scheme.

I doubled the support given to people. Not only that, but I’m also adjusting the scheme so that this payment is paid out as a grant, meaning you don’t have to repay a single penny of that money.

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This package comes on top of the existing £22billion cost of living support I presented earlier this year, including a council tax cut, a £330 tax cut for million workers thanks to the rise in the National Insurance contribution threshold in July and a 5p cut to the fuel tax.

Government support for the cost of living now stands at more than £37billion this year.

That’s millions of people receiving help from the UK government as we tackle this challenge together.

But no government can solve all the problems.

Things will no doubt be difficult over the next few months and in large part due to the global issues we are facing.

Things have not been easy, but just like during the pandemic, we are not going to leave people to face these challenges alone.

China is implementing new lockdowns and shutting down factories, slowing production of new goods, impacting supply chains and driving up costs.

Demand is growing rapidly around the world as people emerge from the pandemic, causing bottlenecks in our supply chains and making goods more expensive.

And the ongoing barbaric conflict in Ukraine continues to have an effect on energy bills and food prices.

I have set up short-term support for people.

But we also have to think about the medium term.

One of the best ways to help people is to grow the economy.

And that’s what I’m focusing on now. In order to aim for growth, we must prioritize three things: people, money and ideas.

Together with my Cabinet colleagues, we are off to a great start on all of these things.

We provide businesses with the tools and capacity to upskill their workers, we have provided record levels of investment to launch new businesses and create jobs, and we encourage innovation. And there is more to come.

I want to create the conditions that will spur growth and strengthen our economy and that is the best thing we can do to help people.

I’m going to spend my summer looking for all the ways we can do this.

I am determined to turn this difficult time into a springboard for economic renewal and growth.

We’ve been through the pandemic and I think we can get through it now.

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And I hope the cost of living package we announced earlier this week will help reassure and help people sleep at night knowing they have help.

When we said we’d be there, we meant it.

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