Chancellor Rishi Sunak blames typo for false claim of ‘winter energy crisis’

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Tory Chancellor Rish Sunak backtracks and admits spiraling energy bills are NOT due to colder than usual winter weather in a newspaper column he wrote

Conservative Chancellor Rishi Sunak was forced into an embarrassing U-turn

Rishi Sunak was forced to turn back after throwing hot air on the energy crisis.

The chancellor’s aides blamed a “typo” in a national newspaper column he wrote saying a colder-than-usual winter was one cause of the impending bill hikes. In fact, this winter is warmer than usual.

Mr Sunak, the wealthiest member of Boris Johnson’s cabinet, used his self-penned piece to try to steer the Tories away from the power crisis.

He wrote: “There are a few factors that drive energy prices up so dramatically and unfortunately they are mostly beyond the government’s control. One is the surge in gas demand in places like China, which has driven up global prices.

“Another is the fact that we had a colder winter than usual, so we used more of our own gas reserves here at home.”

His team claims the typo was on the phrase “colder winter”.






Andy Prendergast of the GMB union

A web version of the column has been edited after weather experts dismissed the claim. The Met Office said the average temperature this winter was 5.12C so far, 1.03C higher than in the three decades to 2020.

And Aurora Energy Research commodity manager Anise Ganbold said, “On average, gas demand is 7% lower than the past four winters.”

Last night GMB union national secretary Andy Prendergast said: ‘Rishi Sunak is either hopelessly out of touch or deliberately misleading.

“We all know that winter is mild. The Chancellor needs to spend more time worrying about gas and less time enlightening the nation.

Mr Sunak also wrote in his post that the factors he listed meant ‘on average people will see their energy bills go up by £693’.

The increase will start in April after the energy price cap was raised by 54% by regulator Ofgem. Mr Sunak this week offered consumers £200 off their bills from October in what was touted as a goodwill gesture from the government.

But it emerged the deal was just a ‘buy now, pay later’ style loan that struggling families have to repay over two years.

Households in municipal tax brackets A to D will get a one-off £150 rebate in April. Charities say it is not enough and it does not target those who need it most.

A Treasury spokesperson said: ‘As the Chancellor explained, the reasons for the gas price spike are global.

“No country in Western Europe has been spared the unprecedented volatility of wholesale gas. It is incorrect to suggest that the UK is particularly exposed to it. »







Former Labor leader Ed Miliband
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Picture:

Phil Harris)


Former Labor leader Ed Miliband called Mr Sunak’s response to the energy price crisis “inadequate”. He said, “The Choir-
lor should have adopted the Labor Party’s plan for a windfall tax on oil and gas producers to help fund a family support programme.

“Instead, he chose to side with those companies making billions, not millions facing hardship this winter.”

Energy giant Shell’s annual profits reached £12.5 billion. BP is expected to post a profit of nearly £9.6bn next week.

In 2017, Rough’s gas storage facility in the North Sea – Britain’s largest – was closed because the Tories refused to fund repairs. Today, the country only has storage for 2% of needs, which leaves us dependent on supplies from Europe and Russia. Mr Sunak did not mention that the Tories were alerted at the time that the closure of Rough could lead to an electricity crisis.

Amid growing energy fears, the Bank of England has warned of a dramatic fall in living standards – with take home pay taking the biggest hit on record and inflation set to hit 7% in April.

The gap between pay and the cost of living is widening due to soaring energy, food and petrol prices, according to a TUC analysis.

Wage growth has fallen to 3.8% on average, he found – key workers who have kept the UK together during the pandemic, such as transport and retail staff, are even more badly off.

He said low wages would reduce consumer spending and further weaken the fragile economy, adding: “Britain needs a pay rise.”

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