Prime Minister Liz Truss has been urged to clarify a reportedly false claim that “nobody is paying fuel bills of more than £2,500”.
Fact-checking charity Full Fact and consumer champion Martin Lewis both warned Truss’ claim was incorrect, and that there was a risk “vulnerable elderly people” think they can keep heating on without paying more.
The Prime Minister made her remarks on BBC Radio Kent this morning, during a series of bruising local radio interviews in which she tried to defend the government’s mini-budget.
This comes after the government made a historic intervention, freezing household energy bills at an average of £2,500 a year, dependant on usage.
She told listeners “We have taken action by the government stepping in and making sure that nobody is paying fuel bills of more than £2,500”.
Truss then went BBC Radio Leeds, saying government policy “will mean that Leeds and other people in West Yorkshire aren’t going to be facing energy bills of £6,000 which is what was forecast, they’re going to be, through the energy price guarantee, the maximum will be £2,500”,
She also repeated it on BBC Radio Nottingham.
Full Fact wrote to Liz Truss on Wednesday, after on Monday she made a similar claim on CNN. The charity said “it is vital the public have accurate information about energy bills in the context of the ongoing cost of living crisis.”
Will Moy, Chief Executive of Full Fact, said, “Liz Truss has repeatedly misled listeners this morning.”
“She must now publicly correct her mistake to make sure people are not misled about their energy prices and hit with unexpected and unaffordable energy bills this winter.”
Consumer champion and founder of MoneySavingExpert.com, Martin Lewis, also weighed on Twitter.
He said: “The reason it is so important NOT to communicate that there is a £2,500 cap”, that it it “risks some people, possibly vulnerable elderly people, thinking they can keep the heat on max all winter, and they won’t pay more than a certain amount.”
“THERE IS NO £2,500 CAP ON ENERGY BILLS.”
He added that the 1 October guarantee limits a daily charge and unit rates, which means customers will “use more, pay more.”
“£2,500 is just what someone with average usage pays.”
When asked to clarfify her comments following criticism, Number 10 pointed towards Truss’ interview with Sky News today.
During the interview, the PM said: “People were facing fuel bills, energy bills of up to £6,000, we had very high inflation expectations and an economic slowdown.
“And what we’ve done is we’ve taken decisive action, first of all to make sure that nobody is paying more than a typical fuel bill of £2,500 – that will come in this Saturday – but also to reduce our tax burden to make sure we grow the economy and also curb inflation, and that’s so important.”