LONDON: UK finance minister Jeremy Hunt will offer discounts on energy bills to people living near new electricity pylons and substations, the finance ministry said on Sunday, as part of an effort to remove barriers to building new energy infrastructure.
The finance ministry said the plan, which also includes other measures to speed up infrastructure planning, could save 10,000 pounds ($12,461) on household bills over 10 years.
The measures form part of Hunt’s Autumn Statement, which he will deliver on November 22, and hopes to revive the fortunes of both the stagnant British economy and the ruling Conservative Party ahead of elections expected next year.
Hunt, who warned of tough choices on welfare spending on Saturday, is expected to expand existing incentives for corporate investment. The Sunday Times reported that he was considering cuts to income tax or national insurance.
The government hopes planning reforms will halve the average 14 years currently required to build a new electricity network; This is much longer than in other major economies and is a drag on industrial investment in Britain.
“Expanding the grid will unlock global investment for the UK and deliver improvements for people across the country, along with energy security that will keep energy costs low,” a finance ministry source said in a statement.
British business investment was 4% higher in the third quarter than its pre-pandemic level, according to a Reuters analysis of OECD data; It was a better performance than Germany, but slightly behind France and the USA.
The opposition Labor Party, well ahead of the Conservatives in opinion polls, outlined a plan on Saturday that it said would save households up to £3,000 a year over the next decade.
Around half the savings will come from the drive to better insulate homes and the establishment of Great British Energy, a publicly owned clean energy production company.
“The economy is not working for workers,” Labour’s finance spokeswoman Rachel Reeves said.
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