A major expansion of free childcare and an extension in support for household energy costs will help ease the cost of living as British Finance Minister Jeremy Hunt sets out a “Budget for growth.” The chancellor of the exchequer, as the minister is known in Britain, confirmed that the energy price guarantee, which caps average household bills at £2,500 ($3,040), will be extended at its current level from April to June. It had been due to rise to £3,000 in April, and the cost of scrapping the planned 20% increase will amount to around £3 billion. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: “We know people are worried about their bills rising in April. To give people some peace of mind, we’re keeping the energy price guarantee current until the summer, when gas prices are expected to fall.
“Continuing to hold down energy bills is part of our plan to help hard-working families with the cost of living and halve inflation this year.” Falling global energy prices mean that the current level will be extended to “bridge the gap” until costs are expected to fall below the cap.Hunt said: “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.