Second-home owners to get double payout of Rishi Sunak's £400 energy discount

Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak attends a cabinet meeting at 10 Downing Street in London, Britain May 24, 2022. Daniel Leal/Pool via REUTERS
Rishi Sunak has announced a £15bn package of measures to help Brits struggling with the cost-of-living crisis. (Reuters)

People with more than one home will get £400 off the energy bill for each house they own in the latest package of measures announced by Rishi Sunak.

On Thursday, the Chancellor unveiled emergency measures as part of a £15 billion package to tackle the impact of soaring inflation that has led to a cost-of-living crisis.

This includes a universal £400 discount off energy bills plus additional targeted support for the poorest, the elderly and the disabled.

Shortly after his announcement, the Treasury confirmed Brits with multiple households will receive the energy discount for each home, with no limit on the number of households they can claim it for.

It is also not known how many of the wealthiest households, including millionaires, will be receiving the payment.

The Treasury acknowledges that the arrangement, while not perfect, is designed to reduce the administrative part of the scheme given the volume of households needing help with soaring costs.

The package of measures has broadly been welcomed.

Paul Johnson, director of the respected Institute for Fiscal Studies, said: "Big, expensive package from Rishi Sunak. In conjunction with tax rises already in place this is hugely redistributive – taking from high earners and giving to the poor."

Meanwhile, the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) also welcomed the steps taken to protect the poorest families, but said more was needed.

Rising costs

On Tuesday, Ofgem signalled energy costs are set to increase even further with a likely doubling of the energy price cap to £2,800 in October - meaning it will have more than doubled in a year.

“We know that people are facing challenges with the cost of living and that is why today I’m stepping in with further support to help with rising energy bills," Sunak said.

“We have a collective responsibility to help those who are paying the highest price for the high inflation we face.

"That is why I’m targeting this significant support to millions of the most vulnerable people in our society."

Earlier this week, E.On — one of the big six energy suppliers - warned that 40% of households were at risk of falling into fuel poverty without extra support.

Also in the package of measures announced by the chancellor was more targeted support, including £650 for all benefit claimants and £300 for all pensioner households.

The government says the new measures will be funded by a windfall tax on oil giants who have made unexpected profits due to geopolitical events - such as Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Labour said the chancellor had "finally come to his senses".

“After five months of being dragged kicking and screaming, the Chancellor has finally come to his senses, U-turned, and adopted Labour’s plan for a windfall tax on oil and gas producer profits to lower bills," shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves.

“Despite only bringing in the plan months ago, he’s had to ditch his dodgy buy now, pay later loan that was always destined for failure."

Watch: Sunak sets out £15 billion emergency package to mitigate soaring cost of living