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Sunak attributes soaring energy prices to China and ‘colder than usual winter’

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ishi Sunak has attributed the record rise of energy prices to China pushing up global prices and Britain’s “colder than usual winter”.

In the wake of the Government’s £9 billion package announcement to try and ease cost-of-living expenses, the Chancellor said the financial squeeze on households in the months ahead could not be underestimated.

Writing in The Sun Mr Sunak said that the factors causing the dramatic rise to energy prices were out of the Government’s control.

He wrote: “One (factor) is the steep rise in demand for gas in places such as China, which has pushed up global prices.

Rishi Sunak said the Government was trying to tackle the ‘unacceptable backlogs caused by the pandemic’ (Justin Tallis/PA) / PA Wire

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

“There are no two ways about it: (the £693 annual increase per household on average) … is a big hit for people to take and I don’t underestimate it one bit.”

The Chancellor continued: “We made a difficult decision last year that in order to tackle the unacceptable backlogs caused by the pandemic, as well as to pay for vaccines and integrate our health and social care system, we would have to raise the money to do so.

“We can’t borrow for wholesale reform and we were upfront about that from the beginning.”

The Government’s newly-announced Energy Bill Rebate was rolled out earlier on Thursday to try and “cushion the blow” of rising energy costs – which will be coupled with a 7.25% increase in inflation in April.

The £9 billion package will provide each family with £350 which will include a one-off repayable £200 discount and a £150 rebate on council tax bills.

Mr Sunak explained: “Four out of five families will get £150 in April as a discount to their council tax bills — so cash is there in your bank account straight away to help with the rise in cost.

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