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Rishi Sunak Urges Rich To Donate Their Vitality Invoice Low cost To Charity

Rishi Sunak today urged rich people who receive the government’s £400 energy bill discount to give it to charity.

The chancellor announced yesterday every household in Britain will be given a £400 rebate off their gas and electricity bill this winter to ease the cost of living crisis.

However, it means even the wealthiest in society will receive discounts when they do not necessarily need one. Those who own second homes will also receive the £400 energy bill discount for each one.

When that argument was put to him this morning, the chancellor said he would donate any money he receives through the cost of living schemes to charity.

“I’m sure like me, you can also give that money to charity. If you don’t need it.”

– Rishi Sunak

He admitted on Sky News that he and presenter Niall Paterson did not need the extra help but that it was the easiest way to help tens of millions of people.

“The reality is when you’re talking about that number of people, there really aren’t many ways to do it and we wanted to make sure that this was as universal as possible,” he said.

The chancellor said they looked at a council tax rebate but sometimes those in larger houses still needed help.

“So actually, this being universal means that we avoid all of those problems and really do get help to everyone who needs it,” he added.

“And you, I’m sure like me, you can also give that money to charity. If you don’t need it.”

Paterson replied: “That’s great, but it strikes me that rich people didn’t get rich by handing back free money that they received from the government.

“It’s good for you that you’re going to donate it to charity I’ll wager most people who receive it won’t.”

Sunak replied: “I think it’s incumbent on someone to say ‘well, here’s the alternative’ – how else would you get the support to those on middle incomes who are working hard who do feel they need support?

“And I hear a lot from them every week, just because they’re not on benefits or they’re not pensioners. They still actually think this is tough for me it’s a £1,200 increase in my energy bill.

“It’s right that the government’s on my side and I do want to be on the side of those people.”

It comes just a week after Sunak became the first frontline politician to be named in The Sunday Times Rich List since its inception in 1989.

He and his wife Akshata Murthy entered the list for the first time with their joint £730 million fortune.

The timing could not have been worse for the politician as inflation hit a 40-year high, prompting further fears about the UK tipping into a recession.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak and Akshata Murthy.

Max Mumby/Indigo via Getty Images

In another interview on Friday morning, the chancellor insisted second homes receiving another £400 energy bill grant would only account for a small proportion of payments.

He told BBC Breakfast: “Second homes account for one or two per cent of the property stock.”

Every household in Britain will receive a £400 rebate off their gas and electricity bill this winter as part of a £21 billion package to deal with the cost-of-living crisis.

The scheme will be funded by increased borrowing and the imposition of a £5 billion windfall tax on oil and gas companies – in a significant U-turn by the chancellor.

However, some have pointed out the “cynical” timing of the government’s package after Tory ministers spent weeks dismissing the need for such a levy.

Cabinet ministers had been openly skeptical about the policy and not a single Conservative MP voted in favor of the proposal when Labor put it to a vote last week.

The plan was also unveiled a day after the publication of Sue Gray’s partygate report, which painted a damning picture of booze-fuelled lockdown partying into the early hours, cleaners having to scrub red wine off the walls, a fight between staff, and a karaoke machine at the ready.

However, the chancellor insisted the spending announcement was “categorically not” to distract from Partygate.

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