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Boris Johnson DEFENDS green taxes on families saying they are helping to CUT bills

Boris Johnson DEFENDS green taxes on families saying they are helping to CUT bills 2

Boris Johnson DEFENDS green taxes on families saying they are helping to CUT bills in the long term – as Tory MPs demand he axe them to help ease cost-of-living crisis

  • Tory MPs are urging PM to scrap taxes that add about £160 a year to energy bills
  • Johnson said he wants to do ‘everything we can to alleviate the cost of living’ 
  • But claimed levies had  ‘helped to reduce bills … and will continue to do so’

Green levies should remain on energy bills despite the cost of living crisis, the Prime Minister has said.

Tory MPs are urging Boris Johnson to scrap the taxes, which add about £160 a year to energy bills, to help households as gas and oil prices reach record levels. 

But the PM said that while the Government wants to do ‘everything we can to alleviate the cost of living’, scrapping green levies is not the way.

Levies are aimed at discouraging the use of inefficient sources of energy and encouraging the implementation of environmentally friendly alternatives.

‘Overall if you look at what we have done with renewables it has helped to reduce bills over the last few years and will continue to do so,’ Mr Johnson told reporters during his visit to India.

He refused to rule out taking more steps to ease cost of living pressures, and he defended existing measures.

However, critics have said that policies to ease the crisis, including a £150 council rebate for people in bands A-D, do not go far enough.

Tory MPs are urging Boris Johnson to scrap the taxes, which add about £160 a year to energy bills, to help households as gas and oil prices reach record levels.

Tory MPs are urging Boris Johnson to scrap the taxes, which add about £160 a year to energy bills, to help households as gas and oil prices reach record levels.

Levies are aimed at discouraging the use of inefficient sources of energy and encouraging the implementation of environmentally friendly alternatives.

Levies are aimed at discouraging the use of inefficient sources of energy and encouraging the implementation of environmentally friendly alternatives.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng previously failed to dismiss reports that the Government is considering scrapping the charges, which are used to fund renewable energy schemes, amid Tory backbench pressure.

Speaking on Wednesday during a flight to India for a two-day visit, Mr Johnson said he wants to do everything possible to ‘alleviate the cost of living’, but it is ‘very important to understand’ that there is ‘a lot of prejudice against the green agenda’.

‘Actually green technology, green, sustainable electricity can help to reduce bills,’ he said.

‘Overall, if you look at what we have done with renewables, it has helped to reduce bills over the last few years and will continue to do so.

‘That’s why one of the things I want to do is use this moment to have, to really drive towards more offshore wind turbines.

‘This country used to be number one for offshore wind… then China overtook us. We need to regain our lead, We need to build them faster and we can do it.’

The PM also repeatedly resisted ruling out extra measures to support families with soaring living costs before the autumn, when the energy price cap is expected to rise again.

Asked if the country can wait until that point to help families with the cost of living, Mr Johnson said: ‘We will do everything we can to help people through the aftershocks of Covid, as we have during the pandemic.’

Pressed on whether that meant he was not ruling out earlier measures, he said: ‘We’re going to do everything we can to help but don’t forget what we’ve already done: so there’s the council tax abatement of £150 for everybody in bands A to D homes.

‘We’ve cut taxes for most people by lifting the NICs (national insurance contributions) threshold. That’s actually quite a big tax cut for loads of people.

‘We’re continuing with all the supports that we offer – we’ve cut fuel duty by the biggest amount ever, 5p cut in fuel duty – altogether, the package is worth £22 billion.

‘But the best answer is to have high-wage, high-skilled jobs, which is why we’re off to India, to get more investment into this country.’

Asked again if he was therefore not ruling out further measures before the autumn, Mr Johnson said: ‘I’m saying we’ll do everything we can to help, but I’m pointing to what we’ve already done.’

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