Hopes energy bill help could be extended as Energy Sec lobbies for extra £500 for Brits | The Sun

BRITS could be £500 better off in April as senior ministers pressure Chancellor Jeremy Hunt to extend energy bill help.

The £2,500 ceiling on gas and electricity bills is set to soar to £3,000 in just over one month.

But behind the scenes Mr Hunt is being lobbied by Energy Secretary Grant Shapps to delay the Energy Price Guarantee hike.

A Whitehall source told The Sun: "There is a very keen desire within the Energy Department to see energy bill support continue at the current rate.

"We need to keep working with Treasury to see what might be possible."

The source added that Treasury officials are receptive to the idea.

But the department is staying tight lipped for now, with the Spring Budget just two weeks away.

Today Mr Shapps told The Times: “I completely recognise the argument over keeping that price guarantee in place, and the chancellor and I are working very hard on it.

"I’m very sympathetic to making sure that we protect people. We’re looking at this very, very carefully.”

The number of Brits unable to afford bills would sky rocket from one in ten to one in five if the price cap goes up, Citizens Advice warned this week.

Chief Executive Dame Claire Moriarty said: "The government must keep the energy price guarantee at its current level of £2,500.

"Recent drops in wholesale prices mean they have the headroom to do this. The alternative is millions more people unable to keep their house warm and keep the lights on.”

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Economist Paul Johnson this morning suggested it would be “very straightforward” for ministers halt the hike with government borrowing being lower than expected this year.

He said:  “Because it’s relatively cheap and politically popular, I wouldn’t be surprised if something like that happened.”

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