UK News

Sunak ‘woefully out of touch' with energy bill remarks, say Lib Dems

A party spokeswoman said the Prime Minister ‘just does not get it' (Leon Neal/PA)
Dominic McGrath, PA Political Staff

Rishi Sunak has been accused of being “woefully out of touch”, after claiming people do not fully understand the level of Government support for household energy bills.

The Prime Minister made the comments during a business event in Leicestershire, speaking as the latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) data showed inflation slowed to 6.8% in July.

But many people are still feeling the pinch after months of soaring costs and the figure is significantly above the Government’s 2% inflation target.

The Prime Minister was defending the Government’s response to inflation and the cost of living, as he stressed the scale of state support on energy bills.

According to the BBC, he told the event: “A typical family will have had about half their energy bills paid for by the Government over the past several months – that’s worth £1,500 to a typical family.

“Now you wouldn’t have quite seen that because you would have still just got your energy bill, it would have been very high and you’d have been, ‘Oh my gosh, what’s going on’, but what you wouldn’t have realised, maybe, is that before that even happened, £1,500 had been lopped off, and the Government had covered it.”

He told the event “no-one quite understands the scale of what we’ve done”.

PA infographic showing UK inflation rate
(PA Graphics)

But the Liberal Democrats accused the Prime Minister of being out of touch.

The party’s Cabinet Office spokeswoman Christine Jardine said: “Sunak’s comments are woefully out of touch.

“Does he expect the public to give the Conservative Party a pat on the back for crashing the economy and adding hundreds of pounds a month to people’s mortgages?

“He just does not get it.”

Under the Energy Price Guarantee, households were partly shielded from rising prices, with the scheme limiting annual energy costs to £2,500 for the average household – subsidising Ofgem’s price cap.

Speaking on Wednesday, Mr Sunak welcomed the inflation figures, insisting that his plan “is working”.

“If we stick to the plan I’ve set out, we’ll get it done,” he tweeted.