'I've asked you THREE times' Labour MP squirms as she fumbles over cost of living probe

The shadow Exchequer Secretary failed to explain to broadcaster Andrew Pierce what British families in need of additional support could expect if her party were in control of finances. Ms Oppong-Asare insisted the Labour Party would see to increase the Warm Home Discount available at the moment to help with the rising cost of energy bills but she struggled to say what the current discount amounted to and what it would rise to. The LBC presenter said: “I still don’t know what you’re doing about the warm home discount scheme.”

The Labour MP said: “I think I’ve made it very clear.”

Her response sparked a fiery reaction from Mr Pierce, who cut her off: “No, you haven’t. No, you haven’t. I’ve asked you three times.

“You’re going to increase it from what to what?”

Ms Oppong-Asare said: “What I’m saying is we’re putting forward targeted support for those who are lower-income families and pensioners who are being squeezed.”

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The LBC host interrupted again: “So you don’t know what the figure is.”

The Labour MP attempted to side-step the question, suggesting the presenter would want to know more about Labour’s costing for the scheme increase.

But Mr Pierce once again cut in: “No, I want to know what families who are currently receiving the warm home discount – they hear you’re going to increase it.

“They’re going to want to know what you’re going to increase it from to.”

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Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng this week warned households will need to wait until March to find out if a scheme reportedly under consideration to hand out £500 one-off payments to help with energy bills will go ahead.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is believed to be considering making direct payments of up to £500 to struggling families as the cost of energy bills is set to soar.

But Mr Kwarteng said the Government is “trying to work out the best way to deal with what is a really, really serious problem”.

Emma Pinchbeck, chief executive of Energy UK, the trade body for suppliers, said bills could increase again in October after a predicted 50 percent jump for millions of households in the spring.

The Social Market Foundation think tank has proposed cash payments of up to £500 would be the best answer to the cost-of-living crisis.

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