LONDON: British Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt will offer discounts on energy bills to people living near new electricity pylons and substations, as part of a drive to remove barriers to building new energy infrastructure, the Treasury said on Sunday.
The plan, which includes other measures to speed up infrastructure planning, could cut household bills by 10,000 pounds ($12,461) over 10 years, the finance ministry said.
The measures are part of an autumn statement Mr Hunt will present on November 22, hoping to revive the fortunes of both Britain’s stagnant economy and the ruling Conservative Party ahead of an election expected next year.
Hunt, who warned on Saturday of tough decisions on welfare spending, is expected to extend existing incentives for business investment. The Sunday Times reported that he was considering cuts to income tax or national insurance.
The government hopes the planning reforms will halve the 14 years it currently takes on average to build a new electricity network – much longer than in other major economies and something that is holding back industrial investment in Britain.
“Grid expansion will unlock global investment for Britain and deliver improvements for people across the country, with energy security that will reduce energy costs,” a Treasury source said in a statement.
According to a Reuters analysis of OECD data, British business investment was 4% higher than pre-pandemic levels in the third quarter – a better performance than Germany but slightly behind France and the US.
The opposition Labor Party, which is far ahead of the Conservatives in opinion polls, unveiled a plan on Saturday to save households up to £3,000 a year over the next decade.
About half of the savings would come from efforts to better insulate homes and the creation of Great British Energy, a publicly owned clean energy company.
“The economy is not working for working people,” Labour’s finance spokeswoman Rachel Reeves said.
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