"Bribe anyone?" – Readers have their say on the Chancellor Rishi Sunak's cost of living support package, £400 energy bills grant and Windfall Tax

Late last week, Rishi Sunak announced a huge package totalling £15bn of supportive measures to help struggling households. This unveiling followed a terrible week for the government following the Sue Gray #Partygate revelations.

Wednesday, 1st June 2022, 12:30 pm

The Chancellor said that the government would take the following steps:

Temporary Windfall Tax on oil and gas companies One off £650 payment for millions of the lowest income households One off £300 payment for pensioners One off £150 disability cost-of-living payment £400 energy bills grant, instead of planned £200 energy bills discount (loan)

We asked our readers what they thought of the announcement and they were more than willing to share their thoughts on the steps taken.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 26: Chancellor Rishi Sunak leaves number 11, Downing Street on May 26, 2022 in London, England. An announcement is expected to be made by Chancellor Rishi Sunak later, knocking hundreds of pounds off domestic energy bills this winter, largely funded by a windfall tax on oil and gas firms that could raise £7bn. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

Read More

Read More
Johnny Depp: Shock appearance as Hollywood star Johnny Depp performs alongside J...

Here are a selection of their responses:

Frank McCormack said that he will, “Believe when i see it in my bank account.”

His response was followed by Paul Gross, who wrote, “Worry about the ulterior motives after it hits your bank account.” An amazing thing about this announcement is that in many cases a penny of the money won’t even hit your bank account.

Katie Donson - Brook pointed out that, “We pay for these grants and loans from taxes so stop making out like it’s a gift.”

“Conveniently saved until now to get us to ‘forget’ party gate.”

Amongst the doubters there were a particular group of people, we shall call them the ‘Deflection highlights’, who were not buying anything that Sunak was selling (or telling us about).

Ben Kirkham responded with a GIF image, which had the statement, “Deflection game expert – Level 1000”, I’d say that he thinks this whole package is a distraction from everything that has been going on of late.

Paul Metcalf kept it short… “bribe anyone?”

Janet Ward was not holding back in her reply, “Don't fall for this crap, they want you in debt so you have to rely on them, a complete scam.”

And Marianne Docherty added her take, “More like here's £400, sorry you couldn't join us at all our parties, but this should make up for it!”

One of the most popular responses came courtesy of Sam Staton, who pointed out that “All these grants and one off payments will inevitably have to be repaid eventually in one way or another. The windfall tax is laughable really, big energy firms will just use the PAYE system to extract money from their running costs and/or through subsidy companies and dividends. That’s assuming that they pay tax in the UK?”

“Don't fall for this crap, they want you in debt so you have to rely on them, a complete scam”

Ian Berrisford is not so happy with the announcement, he says “At this rate the UK could soon be broke.” Ian… I think that we need to sit down and have a talk about the state of the UKs finances in recent years (spoiler: it’s not good).

John Somerset says that this, “Absolutely misses the mark. Should remove all the idiotic “green” levies and limit the wholesale price. Helps everyone across the board then.” But what about the environment, John?

He also followed up with this, “Should give Ofgem a good kicking as well for failing in their duties to the consumer and being more bothered about helping the energy companies.” This is why the Windfall Tax is a good idea, but surely the cost of energy to the consumer should be standardised and better controlled nationally and globally? Should we re-nationalise energy?

A swift follow up from Chris Marples said that, “Public sector energy is what’s needed. Run at cost and not for private profit.” Wouldn’t that be lovely, nationalise the trains as well and we could have a delightful utopia of reasonably priced costs of living in some areas that will benefit many…

One person who is only seeing the positives here is Anthony Cronshaw, who replied with “£300 for pensioners. That’s quite a few beer vouchers for Monday Club. I’ll take that.”

“All these grants and one off payments will inevitably have to be repaid eventually in one way or another”

Ereek Ronk is of the opinion that this is “Insulting. This will help those who receive the payments for what, 1? Maybe 2 months?” He’s got a point, something Paul Gregory was also keen to point out, “Still got to go again in October because prices are going up again.”

Ben Johnson says that “This could have been done months ago, and it took a scandal for them to decide to help people.”

Deedee Blinkho added, “Stop doubling our bills and taxes they cannot justify any of this...”

Susan Adams says that this package was “Conveniently saved until now to get us to ‘forget’ party gate.”

Chris France replied saying, “How's about just lower petrol and diesel prices by about 60p a litre and lower energy bills because no reason at all to make them all high when all companies are raking in literally billions of profit per year !!! Giving us scraps will change absolutely nothing at all”

Some people were rather amused at the structure of the engagement post, which said “The Chancellor announced the unveiling of his huge package to help with the cost-of-living crisis.”

Grant Harris responded saying, “Jesus Christ… please tell me this headline is intentional??? I'd like to hazard a guess that his package is average at best!” He’s not Jesus, Grant. His name is Rishi and he’s here to stay… for now, until the next reshuffle.

Adam Robin Higginbottom said don’t you just “Love it when you have a smaller phone screen and this gets contracted to simply, "The Chancellor announced the unveiling of his huge package..." – no comment Adam.

Trevor Wright commented with the following, "The Chancellor announced the unveiling of his huge package to help with the cost-of-living crisis" - ooh matron The Star - the gift that keeps giving.” You’re welcome Trevor.

I guess people need some amusement, particularly with the current state of affairs.

“Public sector energy is what’s needed. Run at cost and not for private profit”

The most popular reply came from Matthew Parker, who wrote “Here's 400 quid, now forget about the partygate scandal!” More than 45 people agreed with Matthew’s take on it all.

There’s no doubting that the government needs to take drastic steps to help support people, we all understand that there are many things going on right now which have affected the costs of things. But there is only so long that people can continue being squeezed and forced to struggle even more than usual. This is a step… one of many that will need to be taken in the coming months and years by the government.

What do you think? How would you take steps to resolve the cost of living?