Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Minister laments ‘tricky’ energy bills rise on same day as MPs’ pay increases

Energy prices have rocketed as the price cap increased (PA)
Energy prices have rocketed as the price cap increased (PA)

A Government minister who is paid £115,824 has said the cost-of-living rise will be “tricky” for his household, on the same day he is set to receive a pay rise of £2,212.

MPs’ salaries rise to £84,144 on Friday, up by 2.7%, after the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) – which sets MPs’ pay – announced last month that salaries would go up for the first time in two years.

Richard Lloyd, Ipsa’s chair, said it was “right” that MPs are “paid fairly”, particularly with their work “dramatically” increasing in the past 12 months.

But it comes on the same day that the biggest jump in domestic energy bills in living memory has come into effect, and days before national insurance contributions will increase by 1.25 percentage points.

Speaking on Sky News, policing minister Kit Malthouse acknowledged it will be “very tough”.

He said: “We completely acknowledge that a combination of factors has meant that prices are rising significantly, energy prices in particular, driven by a variety of factors – post-pandemic, the war in Ukraine, other kinds of global factors outside of our immediate control – and it is tough.

“For those of us who have a smart meter, as we do here in my house, we can see how much it is costing us on an hourly basis, and it is not happy reading.”

Mr Malthouse, who as a minister of state earns an extra £31,680, bringing his total pay to £115,824, said his household is facing a “tricky” time.

Conducting broadcast interviews with a fire on in the background, the minister told LBC: “Obviously the day-to-day is quite tricky.

Cost of living crisis
The biggest jump in domestic energy bills in living memory has come into effect (Jacob King/PA)

“As you know, I’ve got children. They need to be fed and that cost is rising.

“My fuel prices are rising quite significantly, and I have to say that in my constituency I’m on oil central heating still, sadly.”

The Conservative MP for North West Hampshire continued: “Oil, I’m afraid to tell you, doesn’t come under the energy price cap, and lots of people in rural areas are suffering from the oil price rise.

“So we are feeling it very significantly. I have to confess to you, we did convert last year to electric vehicles, so we are feeling the electric price but not through the petrol. So it is a challenge for everybody.”

Crime and policing minister Mr Malthouse said he had attempted to log on to his energy provider’s app on Thursday as millions tried to give meter readings before the price rise came into effect, but found it “wasn’t working either”.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said people do not “want a revolution” – they want to be able to afford food and their energy bills.

Memorial service for the Duke of Edinburgh
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said people are worried about how to pay their increasing bills (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

Speaking to Sky News, he said the Government does not get “the scale of the problem for millions and millions of people”.

He added: “People don’t want a revolution. They do want to know ‘how am I going to pay my energy bill which has just gone up today by hundreds of pounds’.

“I was in Stevenage last week talking to pensioners. They weren’t saying ‘Keir, we want the revolution’. They were saying ‘Keir, we’re really worried about our bills’.

“For people to make a choice between heating and eating – in 21st century Britain what people want to know is, is the Labour Party, does it understand those worries? The answer is yes, we do.”

He branded the Government’s response to the cost-of-living crisis as “pathetic” and said its decision to hike national insurance rates is “the wrong tax at the wrong time”.

Mr Malthouse said there is hope that inflation will “recede shortly” and Chancellor Rishi Sunak is studying the impact of the cost-of-living crisis.

He told BBC Breakfast the “quite significant” 54% increase to Ofgem’s energy price cap had presented an “extremely tough” situation “against a background of inflation and to see these rises in day-to-day living costs”.

Mr Malthouse said Mr Sunak had “moved quite extensively to try and help”, adding: “I can’t pretend to you it isn’t tough.

“It is going to be, as we see this inflation in fuel prices spike at the moment – hopefully receding shortly – it is going to be hard, and we’re all going to have to work together to get through it.

“I know that the Chancellor of the Exchequer is looking very closely on almost a daily basis at the impact it is having on individuals and their families, and across the economy, and trying to balance the assistance we give, within the financial constraints we’ve got – with an economy, don’t forget, having just come out of a pandemic, having spent 400-odd billion pounds keeping people going through two extremely tough years.”

When it was put to him that the Chancellor did not do enough to help the public in the spring statement, Mr Malthouse replied: “He has moved twice now to bring in assistance.”

Charities have warned that 2.5 million more households are set to fall into “fuel stress” as the 54% increase hits bills.

The Resolution Foundation think tank said the number of English households in fuel stress – those spending at least 10% of their total budgets on energy bills – was set to double overnight from 2.5 to five million.

Citizens Advice chief executive Dame Clare Moriarty said: “The energy price cap rise will be potentially ruinous for millions of people across the country.

“The support announced so far from the Government simply isn’t enough for those who’ll be hit hardest. With the long-anticipated price rises now hitting, many more people will face the kind of heart-rending choices that our frontline advisers already see all too often.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]

More from the Press and Journal Politics team

More from the Press and Journal