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Rishi Sunak defends letting second home owners get £400 energy bill rebate twice – UK politics live | Politics

As my colleague Graeme Wearden experiences on his business live weblog, Rachel Reeves, the shadow chancellor, has criticised the choice to permit second home owners to get the £400 energy payments rebate twice. She claimed on Sky News that this is able to not have been obligatory if the Treasury had not “rushed through” its bundle. She stated:

If the federal government hadn’t have been resisting Labour’s requires a windfall tax and this extra help for months, the federal government might have taken the time to get this bundle proper.

It will not be proper that in the event you personal a second or a 3rd home it is best to get this £400 cost a number of occasions. You can now get a scenario the place any individual who’s extremely rich will get £400 on three or 4 events as a result of they personal so many properties.

This is simply occurring as a result of this bundle has been rushed by as a result of the federal government has been resisting this.

Rachel Reeves in the Commons yesterday.
Rachel Reeves within the Commons yesterday. Photograph: Jessica Taylor/UK PARLIAMENT/AFP/Getty Images

Rishi Sunak defends letting second home owners get £400 energy bill rebate twice

Good morning. It is the day after Rishi Sunak’s price of residing help bundle announcement, and his third momentous fiscal intervention of the year, after the February energy payments announcement and the spring assertion in March, has turned out to be the most important (value £15bn). And in some quarters it has turned out to be one of the best obtained. The two main finances thinktanks, the Institute for Fiscal Studies and the Resolution Foundation, have been about as constructive about this as they ever are about something.

But Sunak additionally finds himself within the scenario confronted by one among his predecessors as chancellor, Hugh Gaitskell. Gaitskell was solely chancellor briefly firstly of the Nineteen Fifties, however he went on to change into Labour chief and in that capability he gave a speech in 1962 opposing membership of the European Economic Community (as a result of it could imply the tip of “a thousand years of history”). It was a terrific speech, and it bought an ideal reception at Labour convention. But as Gaitskell listened to the applause on the platform, his spouse Dora warned: “All the wrong people are cheering.”

They in all probability really feel a lot the identical approach within the Treasury this morning. The Resolution Foundation says in a new analysis that the influence of all Sunak’s measures this monetary year is “highly progressive” (that’s a praise). But the Resolution Foundation is run by a former Ed Miliband adviser, and the main Tory newspapers are rather more sceptical.

Friday’s Mail: “Rishi’s £21bn splurge (but when will Tories get back to just cutting tax?)” #BBCPapers #TomorrowsPapersToday https://t.co/7FuHsAa3Vz pic.twitter.com/36JSBLWa5x

— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) May 26, 2022

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Friday’s Telegraph: “Tories are now the party of big spending, says Sunak” #BBCPapers #TomorrowsPapersToday https://t.co/7FuHsAa3Vz pic.twitter.com/mevHOnQWoi

— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) May 26, 2022

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I’ll publish extra on the media response to the announcement later.

Sunak has been giving interviews this morning and one side of the announcement he has needed to defend is the choice to permit individuals with second houses to get the £400 energy bill rebate twice (as soon as for every property). People with much more houses might get much more.

In interviews this morning Sunak stated that, to get the money out simply, it was easiest to distribute these funds per property. He instructed Sky News that he thought-about utilizing a council tax rebate to assist most households, which might have allowed individuals residing in the costliest houses to have been excluded, however that this created different issues. He stated:

We tried that [with the £150 for most homes announced in February] and we tried to do it with a discretionary fund and it has labored moderately nicely, however there are many instances of people that will say ‘hang on, I happen to live in this expensive looking house or in a high council tax band house but I need help too’.

So really this being common implies that we keep away from all of these issues and actually do get assist to everybody who wants it.

Second houses account for just one or two p.c of the housing stock, Sunak added.

Sunak additionally stated that, as he didn’t want the £400 cost, he would donating the money to charity, and he urged different rich individuals to do the identical. Addressing the Sky presenter Niall Paterson, he stated:

I’m certain, like me, you may as well give that money to charity in the event you don’t want it.

The Sunaks own several properties and so his charity donations are prone to be greater than £400.

I’ll publish extra from his interviews quickly.

Here is the agenda for the day.

Morning: Boris Johnson is doing a go to in County Durham, the place he’s anticipated to report a clip for broadcasters.

11am: John Swinney, Scotland’s deputy first minister, attends the official opening of the Scottish Covid memorial.

12pm: The ONS publishes its common Covid an infection survey outcomes.

I attempt to monitor the feedback under the road (BTL) however it’s unattainable to learn all of them. If you might have a direct question, do embody “Andrew” in it someplace and I’m extra prone to discover it. I do attempt to answer questions, and if they’re of basic curiosity, I’ll publish the question and reply above the road (ATL), though I can’t promise to do that for everybody.

If you wish to entice my consideration rapidly, it’s in all probability higher to make use of Twitter. I’m on @AndrewSparrow.

Alternatively, you possibly can e-mail me at [email protected]

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