Good Morning Britain host Susanna Reid grilled Transport Secretary Grant Shapps after Prime Minister Boris Johnson falsely claimed that 2.2million people would receive £140 a week as part of the Warm Home Discount
Susanna Reid was involved in a furious clash with the Transport Secretary after questioning whether Boris Johnson had intentionally lied about the Warm Home Discount.
The Prime Minister had been challenged on energy bills during PMQs yesterday and made at least four false statements in one PMQs as he was challenged by deputy leader Angela Rayner.
One of which these was the Warm Home Discount, which he claimed “2.2million people [will be] supported to the tune of £140 a week”.
Joined by host Ben Shephard on Good Morning Britain today, she grilled Tory MP Grant Shapps on his comments.
Susanna pointed out: “The Warm Home Discount is not £140 a week. The Warm Home Discount is a one-off payment over the winter.”
Evading the question, Shapps said: “That’s right – a £140 one-off payment. A separate payment, which also provides an extra £25 a week, and that’s also helping up to 4million people.”
Susanna continued to probe, asking: “Was that a lie that Boris Johnson said to the Commons yesterday that it’s £140 a week. But he didn’t just say it once, he said it twice.”
“What I think he was pointing to was that we’re contributing £140 to energy bills for 2.2million low-paid, and that’s what he was referring to,” the Tory MP replied.
“What he said was £140 a week – if the Warm Home Discount was £140 a week, that would go a long way to offset the difficulty that people are having,” Susanna said. “Right, so either he lied to the Commons or he doesn’t know what help is being given to people who can’t pay their energy bills.”
Shapps continued: “You rather cut me off but I was going through a long list of things that we’re…”
“I was talking about the Warm Home Discount,” Susanna said pointedly.
“And I’m confirming that it is contributing £140 towards energy bills to 2.2million low-paid,” he replied. “We can also have a £25 seasonal cold weather payment which is a weekly payment and is going to 4million. But my wider point is, if you’ll let me say this, everyone knows that there’s a global spike in energy prices.
“What I’m trying to demonstrate, from £4.2billion expenditure on cost of living, much of which is aimed at energy, is that we are very aware of it and we are doing everything that we possible can and most viewers will realise, we don’t control global energy!”
Ben jumped into the debate and, while he conceded that there is a global spike in gas prices, he pointed out that theWarm Home Discount has not increased in a decade – despite the increase in energy cap.
“No, you are right, there is a global spike in the wholesale price of gas and electricity,” he said. “But I just want to put this into context – warm home discount of £140 a year. We’ve established that it’s just a year, post what the prime minister said, which is a week.
“That’s been the same amount – £140 – for a decade now. It hasn’t gone up, even though there’s been a global spike, the Warm Home Discount has not gone up. We understand it may be going up soon but it’s stayed the same for 10 years. The current energy price cap went up by 12% in October, which added £139 to the average bill.
“That Warm Home Discount has already been absorbed by the spike when it went up. And then you’re talking about the cap going up again in April – the prediction is that it’s going to add another £600 to the average household bill.
“So these things you’re putting into place, they’re not touching the sides for the families that desperately need them. They are going to be choosing between heating and eating.”
*Good Morning Britain airs weekdays at 6am on ITV