British Chancellor of the Exchequer Nadhim Zahawi enters a car between buildings in the houses of Parliament, in London, Britain, July 20, 2022. REUTERS/Toby Melville
LONDON, Aug 26 (Reuters) – British finance minister Nadhim Zahawi said more help was on its way for consumers and businesses struggling with the soaring cost of energy, after the regulator said on Friday bills would rise by 80% on average from October.
Zahawi said he was working on support options for both households, particularly the most vulnerable, as well as businesses, ready for when Boris Johnson's successor as prime minister is announced on Sept. 5.
"We know we need to do more because actually the most vulnerable households have no cushion," Zahawi told reporters. "More help is on its way … I am doing the work to make sure that will be in place throughout next year."
Zahawi said Russian President Vladimir Putin was using energy as a weapon and would continue to do so, so Britain needed to remain resilient for the long term and make sure any help was not just a sticking plaster.
Asked if people should reduce their energy use, Zahawi said: "The reality is that we should all look at our energy consumption, it is a difficult time."
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Britain's energy regulator Ofgem said on Friday the cap on domestic energy prices would rise to 3,549 pounds ($4,188.17) a year from the start of October due to soaring wholesale costs, increasing pressure on already-stretched household budgets.
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