THE Chancellor’s announcement to help households with the cost of living crisis is “long overdue” - but the measures fall short of providing long-term relief, says MP Caroline Lucas.

Rishi Sunak has unveiled a £15 billion package of measures to help with soaring energy prices, including a 25 per cent one-off “energy profits levy” on oil and gas companies and targeted measures to help lowest-income households.

He also announced that an energy bills discount for all households from October, which amounted to a £200 loan, will be doubled to £400 and has been made into a grant that will not need to be paid back.

Ms Lucas, Green MP for Brighton Pavilion, said the measures were “a life raft for many people who need protecting from soaring bills”, but the package does not do enough to help people in the long-term or prevent the use of fossil fuels.

She said: “With the energy price cap expected to rise by a further £800 a year in October, the number of people in fuel poverty could reach a staggering 12 million.

“A windfall tax on the obscene and dirty profits of oil and gas companies is a start, and one which I’ve been advocating for many months - but it’s only a one-off measure that barely scratches the surface of the crisis that millions of families are facing.”

Ms Lucas said the levy should pave the way for a future carbon tax, which could raise billions and help in the shift towards renewable energy.

She said: “Fossil fuels are right at the heart of both the cost of living crisis and climate crisis - this government’s failure to tax them properly marks a shameful dereliction of their duty to tackle the biggest challenges of our time.”

The Argus: Chancellor Rishi Sunak with Lewes MP Maria CaulfieldChancellor Rishi Sunak with Lewes MP Maria Caulfield

Conservative MP for Lewes Maria Caulfield welcomed the Chancellor’s announcement and said the support will ensure “everyone will receive support during these difficult times”.

She said: “The cost of living is one of the biggest issues residents are raising with me on the doorstep, and I am pleased the Chancellor has listened to myself and other colleagues who have told him that people need support now.”