Energy bill support is coming | Burnley MP Antony Higginbotham column

On Monday, four billion people from across the globe tuned in to say goodbye to the most magnificent monarch we've ever known.

And as Queen Elizabeth II made her final journey the nation watched with immense pride in the steadfast figure that has, for over 70 years, encapsulated the very best of Britain. She will always remain in our hearts.

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With our respects paid, Parliament returned on Wednesday. There is much on the agenda, including getting the NHS working for patients and putting the UK on a path to growth following the two biggest economic shocks we have known for a generation – the Covid-19 pandemic and the astronomic rise in energy costs due to war on the European continent.

Burnley MP Antony Higginbotham

On energy prices I know that businesses and residents are facing a worrying winter. That’s why we are embarking on the most significant intervention in prices ever. Because whilst the increase might be global, the impacts are being felt here. Throughout the summer I spoke extensively to Government about what residents and businesses were telling me - the increases being projected and the impact that would have. And now support is coming.

This major Government announcement will see the cost of gas and electric capped to give certainty over prices. For residents that cap will last two years, and for businesses 6 months initially, with a review later this year to identify where it might need extending.

It will see bills cut by around half their expected level this winter and comes on top of the money already provided, including the discount being applied to bills of £400 for every household.

Whilst enormously costly, this bold measure will provide the stability we need right now as we focus massively on a pro-growth agenda.

There are undoubtedly political opponents who will play ‘whataboutery’ with this announcement. Claiming it should have done something different, targeted different groups or been paid for in different ways. But I know residents see through these political games.

Burnley and Padiham needs growth. And so today as Parliament sits, I will be listening to the Chancellor’s statement which focuses on just that. Reversing the increase in National Insurance, scrapping the planned rise in corporation tax, and making sure people and businesses keep more of their own money. Because as we know, tax and spend economics does not deliver. Providing this short-term support is about enabling our local businesses to weather the storm once again, and then drive forward with the innovation that will see Burnley and Padiham prosper.