Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Chart of the Day
25 August 2022

How much will Tory leadership candidates help with energy bills?

Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak’s proposals fall short of what is needed, but there are issues with Labour’s plan too.

By Ben van der Merwe

Labour and Conservative proposals to deal with the energy crisis this year “fall well short” of what is necessary, according to analysis by the Resolution Foundation think tank.

The Labour party’s proposal for a freeze on energy bills would extend significant support to households of all incomes. However, the £29bn plan would be poorly targeted, with the richest households receiving £350 more than the poorest households over the course of this winter.

Both candidates for the Conservative leadership have proposed much smaller interventions. Rishi Sunak, the former chancellor, has called for VAT on energy bills to be scrapped and for a lump sum payment of £650 to households on means-tested benefits. Sunak’s plan would target support much more effectively at those on lower incomes, but would save the poorest 10 per cent of households just £429 over the winter (compared with £1,029 under Labour’s plan).

The report also notes that Sunak’s proposals may withhold necessary support from those only marginally above the threshold for means-tested benefits, and that they fail to account for differences in energy usage between households.

Plans put forward by Liz Truss, the Foreign Secretary and current favourite to win the Tory leadership contest, are even more meagre than Sunak’s and more poorly targeted than Labour's. Truss’s plan for the abolition of the green levy on energy and cuts to national insurance would save the poorest households just £92 over winter, while leaving the richest households £936 better off.

Select and enter your email address Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. A weekly newsletter helping you fit together the pieces of the global economic slowdown. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
I consent to New Statesman Media Group collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy
THANK YOU

The Resolution Foundation’s analysis suggests that monthly energy bills for the typical household will reach £613 in January 2023, a year-on-year increase of 350 per cent. Households face paying almost £1,700 for energy in the first three months of next year, equivalent to 22 per cent of typical post-tax earnings.

Content from our partners
How industry is key for net zero
How to ensure net zero brings good growth and green jobs
Flooding is a major risk for our homes

[See also: The Tories didn't cause the energy crisis - but they have made it much worse]

Topics in this article: , , ,