London — Britain extended its support for household energy bills by three months to the end of June, the government said on Wednesday, keeping a lid on household bills in a move that should help ease the country’s cost of living squeeze.
The news comes hours before finance minister Jeremy Hunt is due to announce the government’s budget.
Britain said it would now keep in place a price cap that will see average annual bills stay at 2,500 pounds ($3,039) for an extra three months.
Under previous plans, government subsidies had been scheduled to be scaled back from the end of March meaning that bills would have risen to 3,000 pounds.
“High energy bills are one of the biggest worries for families, which is why we’re maintaining the Energy Price Guarantee at its current level,” Hunt said in a statement.
Wholesale prices are expected to fall over the period meaning the help will no longer be necessary beyond after that period, the statement added.
($1 = 0.8226 pounds)
*William James, Sarah Young – Reuters
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