RISHI Sunak is planning to give eight million hard-up Brits hundreds of pounds in handouts to cushion the blow of higher energy bills.
The PM is expected to announce another round of cost of living payments at Thursday’s Budget – putting the most vulnerable in line for a £1,100 boost.
Jeremy Hunt and Rishi Sunak meeting in Downing StreetCredit: Simon Dawson / No10 Downing Street
Reviving the plan he cooked up as Chancellor last summer, benefit claimants will get £650, poor pensioners will get £300 and there will be another £150 disability payment.
Mr Sunak has vowed to protect the poorest as he prepares to strip back energy bill support and let heating costs rise.
A Government source said: “Rishi saw his cost of living plan work last time and so is sticking with it again”.
Meanwhile new Chancellor Jeremy Hunt is set to raise the National Living Wage to £10.40 as well as hiking pensions and benefits by 10.1 per cent with inflation.
But he will offset the handouts with sweeping spending cuts and tax rises to repair a £60billion black hole in the nation’s finances.
Mr Hunt is also expected to reduce the Energy Price Guarantee so the average family pays around £3,000 for bills – above the current £2,500 but less than Ofgem’s £4,000.
There will not be another £400 blanket payment for all Brits but the targeted support to the poorest will be rolled out again.
Last time the £650 payment was doled out in two separate instalments as part of people’s benefits.
Mr Sunak has vowed to be “compassionate” in the Autumn Statement but acknowledged “tough” decisions will be made.
Stealth taxes will happen via freezes to income, VAT and inheritance thresholds to generate more cash for the Treasury.
Pay demands from unions are also being rebuffed, such as nurses’ plea for an eye-watering 17.5 per cent salary hike.
Mr Sunak today also said the private sector should also not be given generous pay hikes so inflation does not spike further.
Speaking at the G20 summit in Bali, the PM told ITV: “Of course I would say to executives to embrace pay restraint at a time like this and make sure they are also looking after all their workers. I’d say that all the time.
“Of course in a situation like this I’m sure executives of most companies will be thinking about pay settlements for senior management, for their workers and making sure they are fair… I don’t want to see a wage price spiral. It’s not about me.”