RISHI Sunak has suggested it is impossible to stop second home owners from benefitting from energy bill support.

The Chancellor faced a grilling at the Treasury Committee from Labour MP Siobhain McDonagh over the issue as she outlined 772,000 households would receive £620 million of help with their energy costs despite owning two homes.

Sunak announced all British households would receive a £400 payment from October to help offset the soaring increase in energy bills.

Every household with a domestic electricity connection will be automatically eligible for the grant.

This means those with more than one property will get another £400 for every home they own. 

Sunak claimed there was no way to stop those with more than one property from benefitting from help they don't really need because the support package is universal. 

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He told the committee: "There will be some people who don’t need the help. That is unfortunately the consequence of having to do policy in practical terms and I think we were talking about providing support on a more universal basis.

"So assuming you [McDonagh] agree with that, which you may not, but if you do agree that you need to provide support on a more universal basis then you have to think how best can we do that."

McDonagh - who outlined there were 61,000 people who own three properties and would get £1200 of help for this -  then asked Sunak how much help he was going to get with his energy bills.

Sunak has said he will be donating any support he gets to charity, but McDonagh then accused him of being "philanthropic with other people's money".

She said: "That’s very philanthropic, but isn’t it philanthropic with other people’s money?

"As Mrs Thatcher said, there is no such thing as government money, there’s only taxpayer money.

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"At a time when the total tax burden has risen to the highest level since the 1940s, is it really good use of taxpayers' money for somebody on the Sunday Times Rich List or indeed for any MP to be receiving second home support when others are choosing between heating and eating?"

Sunak replied: "I think the Labour policy was a VAT cut which would have done the same thing or potentially even more so because it’s linked directly to the size of your energy bills so that would equally apply to that policy and that’s the challenge with universal policies."