Chancellor says even Britons making £45k need ‘urgent’ help paying bills – live

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Education minister says schools must remain open five days a week despite rising energy bills

The chancellor has warned that middle-income Britons need “urgent” help from the government to pay their energy bills.

Nadhim Zahawi called on all Britons to reduce their energy consumption. Mr Zahawi told The Telegraph: “My concern is that there are people who are not on benefits. If you’re a senior nurse or a senior teacher on £45,000 a year, your energy bill will rise by 80 per cent and probably rise even higher in the new year – it’s really hard.”

Experts warn that the energy price cap could exceed £7,000 next year as Ofgem announced the highest cap ever.

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The energy regulator said the price cap for the average household would rise by 80% to £3,549 for the three months starting in October.

But experts at energy consultancy Auxilione warned the limit could even double from that record by April next year, reaching £7,263.

The forecast is based on the current cost of buying energy in global markets and also sees bills reaching £5,405 in January.

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Chancellor warns middle-income Britons urgently need government help

The chancellor has warned that even middle-income Britons will need government help paying their energy bills.

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In an interview with The TelegraphNadhim Zahawi said it’s not just people on benefits who need help and warned Britons with £45,000 should also try to cut their energy consumption.

Mr Zahawi said: “My concern is that there are people who are not on benefits.

“If you’re a senior nurse or a senior teacher on £45,000 a year, your energy bill is going to go up by 80 percent and probably rise even higher in the new year – it’s really hard,” he said.

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“When you’re retired, it’s very difficult. So Universal Credit is a very effective way of targeting, but I’m looking at what else we can do to make sure we help those who really need the help.” He assured that “we are looking at all options”.

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Good morning and welcome to our live blog on UK utility bills and cost of living for Saturday 27th August.

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