What new help has been offered by Rishi Sunak to help with the cost of living crisis?

Rishi Sunak has announced a package of measures to help with the cost of living crisis. Credit: PA

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has heeded warnings that the cost of living is spiralling out of control and has attempted to take the edge off by announcing a wave of measures.

Most of the new support is targeted at low-income households, but he has included a universal element in his £15 million package of support.

It remains to be seen whether the new measures are enough to stem the cost of living crisis, as Labour remarked the government’s “dither and delay has cost our country dearly”.

Here we break down the key measures of support the chancellor has announced.

U-turn on windfall tax on energy giants

In a major u-turn for the Conservative Party, Mr Sunak has confirmed a temporary windfall tax on oil and gas giants - labelling it a "temporary targeted energy profits levy".

The levy will be at a rate of 25% on the extraordinary profits of oil and gas firms, which have surged because of the invasion of Ukraine and the coronavirus pandemic.

The chancellor said the levy will include a “new 80% investment allowance” to incentivise the reinvestment of profits - they will get 91p in tax relief for every £1 they invest in oil and gas extraction in the UK.

The chancellor said the new levy would raise around £5 billion over the next year and the other £10 billion will be raised by borrowing.

Winter fuel allowance

Mr Sunak announced a one-off payment of £300 to pensioners who are receiving the winter fuel allowance.

The payment is on top of the usual winter fuel allowance, which is an annual one-off payment to help pensioners pay for heating during the winter months - the allowance is usually between £100 and £300

You can get the payment if you were born on or before September 26, 1955.

More information on the winter fuel allowance can be found on the government website.

Pensioners will be given a one-off payment of £300. Credit: PA

More help for people on benefits and Universal Credit

The chancellor has announced a one off payment of £650 to those on the lowest incomes paid in two instalments - in July and Autumn for everyone on means tested benefits.

The payments will be paid direct into bank accounts and will be paid to more than eight million low-income households on Universal Credit, Tax Credits, Pension Credit and legacy benefits.

Mr Sunak said for those receiving disability benefits there will be a one-off disability cost-of-living payment of £150.

Loan on energy bills scrapped

The chancellor also announced universal support for all households in his cost of living package.

Mr Sunak has decided to scrap the requirement to repay the £200 discount on energy bills over five years, which was effectively a loan. This measure was announced by the chancellor back in February to help people with their soaring energy bills.

Households will no longer have to repay the discount and the grant will now be doubled to a £400 discount on bills from October.

Do the measures go far enough?

Many households across the UK have been struggling under the weight of increasing bills, inflation and higher fuel prices for many months. The government has been criticised for taking their time in unveiling further support.

Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves told the Commons: “Here he is once again, the Treasury’s one-man rebuttal unit, the chancellor himself.

“For months it has been clear that more was necessary to help people bring their bills down. So what took this government so long? Every day that they have refused to act, £53 million more added to Britain’s household bills during this cost-of-living crisis.”

London Mayor Sadiq Khan tweeted: “From reversing Universal Credit cuts to giving me powers to freeze private rents – there is so much more they could do."

While Liberal Democrat Treasury spokeswoman Christine Jardine said: “Finally after months of families in this country, proud families in this country who have never needed help before, crying out for help from this chancellor, for pensioners who were sitting in cold houses in the winter because they couldn’t afford to heat them, for all those people, for those families unable to put food on the table, this has come as too little, too late.”

(PA Graphics) Credit: PA Graphics

What other support is available for households?

If you're struggling with your energy bills and want to know what other support is available, ITV News has put together this list of support.

Additionally, if you're in debt to your energy supplier, you might be able to get a grant to help pay it off.

The following energy suppliers offer grants to their customers: