Chancellor to travel to Scotland as ministers urged to freeze bills

Nadhim Zahawi will meet with leaders from Scotland's green energy industry.

Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi to travel to Scotland as ministers urged to freeze bills Flickr

The UK chancellor is set to travel to Scotland amid calls for greater support to help households struggling with the cost of living.

Nadhim Zahawi will visit Edinburgh on Wednesday and speak with leaders of Scotland’s green energy industry.

He will also sit down with bosses from the country’s financial services industry as well as meeting performers from the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

The UK Government has been urged to freeze the planned energy price cap rise, with costs expected to jump in October.

A proposal has already been put forward by Scottish Power for a £100bn plan to freeze energy bills for two years.

Under the plans outlined by the firm’s chief executive Keith Anderson, the price cap would be frozen for two years while wholesale gas prices are expected to rise.

The difference between prices charged to consumers and the cost of supplying it would cost around £100bn.

It would be covered by a UK Government loan which would then be repaid over the next 15 to 20 years.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on Tuesday met with representatives from the energy sector where she argued that the UK Government must do more to tackle the crisis.

The SNP leader said that any increase in energy bills from October will have a “profound impact” on households, businesses and the public sector.

Zahawi, speaking ahead of travelling to Scotland, said that the UK Government has delivered an “unprecedented” level of support.

And he insisted that there will be “more to come” as ministers seek to support the most vulnerable households.

“I know families across Scotland are feeling anxious about rising costs and the UK Government has stepped in to ease pressures on household budgets,” said Zahawi.

“We delivered an unprecedented level of support in July with a National Insurance cut that will put £330 back into workers’ pockets this year, while many of Scotland’s most vulnerable households have already received the first instalment of a £650 Cost of Living Payment. 

“And there’s more to come. Not only will the second instalment of that payment arrive this autumn, but I’ve been clear that we are absolutely committed to bringing an equivalent to the £400 energy bills discount to Northern Ireland as soon as possible to ease the burden on families. 

“We will continue to help support families in Northern Ireland through the global pressures we are all facing.” 

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