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Rishi Sunak expected to give people £500 to help with soaring energy bills

It is also believed that the government will introduce a windfall tax on energy firms and a winter fuel allowance

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Rishi Sunak is expected to announce new plans to help Brits with the soaring cost of living after officials warned energy bills could hit almost £3,000 by the end of the year.

Yesterday, Ofgem said it is expecting an energy price cap in October ‘in the region of £2,800’ per year. This comes after the price cap went up to £1,971 on April 1st, adding an average of £700 a year to bills for millions of customers.

So far, the government have faced intense scrutiny for their response to the cost of living crisis, which has included a £150 council tax rebate and a £200 energy bill discount, due to be back over five annual £40 payments.

But now, it has been reported that the Chancellor is working on a ‘major intervention’ with the Prime Minister to help millions of families with the rising costs.

While government officials remain tight-lipped about the new support package, reports claim that Sunak is meeting with Boris Johnson today to ‘sign off’ on a ‘multi-billion-pound’ plan, with a package likely to be unveiled tomorrow.

The support package is rumoured to include a major increase in the Warm Home Discount scheme, which could go up from £150 to £500 for three million low-income households.

Read More: Rishi Sunak becomes first frontline politician to join Sunday Times Rich List with £730 million fortune

The scheme is available now to low-income households – usually on certain benefits – to help with energy bills. This year the payment is £140 – but it was already due to rise to £150 next year.

The Times said other measures expected to be introduced include increases a new windfall tax on energy firms, a winter fuel allowance and a cut in council tax.

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Cabinet minister George Eustice confirmed these reports this morning, telling LBC: “My understanding is that he [the Chancellor] is looking at things and we may hear more this week.

“We have got to try to dampen that inflation and that means showing some restraint but, equally, helping people, particularly those on the lowest incomes, who will struggle with some of these price rises.”

This comes after Boris Johnson admitted his government haven’t been doing enough to help the British public cope with the cost of living crisis.

In a heated interview with Good Morning Britain at the start of this month, the Prime Minister said: “What we’re doing is helping people with the cost of energy… I accept that those contributions from the taxpayer aren’t going to be enough immediately to help cover everybody’s cost… There is more that we can do.”

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Northern housing estate so rough bus drivers were forced to stop going there

The services were fully suspended over the weekend following a spate of antisocial behaviour

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A northern housing estate became so plagued with anti-social behaviour that bus drivers were told to avoid stopping there.

Two bus routes through the Swarcliffe Estate in Leeds were cancelled earlier in the year after teenagers reportedly targeted the vehicles and passengers with stones and rocks. 

In a social media statement, First West Yorkshire announced that the 40 and 56 services would be avoiding the estate in both directions, citing ‘attempted vandalism’. 

The tweet thread read: “SERVICE UPDATE – 40/56. Due to attempted vandalism, we are diverting away from the Swarcliffe Estate in both directions.

“So sorry for any issues this may cause on your journey.

“This will be in place until the end of service this evening. This is for the safety of both our drivers and passengers. I am sorry for the disruption caused.”

Read More: One of the world’s deadliest snakes found on industrial estate in Salford

In a post on Facebook, Councillor Jessica Lennox, of Cross Gates and Whinmoor ward, addressed the vandalism, confirming that the 40 and 56 buses would be diverting around the area ‘as a result of some serious vandalism that took place earlier’. 

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Residents have previously spoken about how they ‘live in fear’ on the estate, saying intimidating anti-social behaviour is becoming worse.

One local teenager told Leeds Live of the youths who vandalised the buses: “They throw stones and break the buses whenever they come down here. I wasn’t surprised.

“Just the other day I saw three buses stopped at the bottom of the estate because they all had glass smashed everywhere. It had gone over a nearby mum and her pram.

“If you see a big group of people anywhere around here you turn around and go the other way.”

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Her grandmother added: “Stones are always thrown at buses around here as there’s nothing for the kids to do… It’s really bad where big groups gather around the Co-Op.

“My grandson lives around the corner and he’s been attacked twice. We don’t really go out at night, and would use a taxi if we did. It’s not nice for the drivers or the passengers.”

Another resident, Keith Pettman, told the outlet that the estate was suffering major issues with antisocial behaviour, saying: “There’s some youths on the estate that are a little rowdy.

“They mess about with bikes and things like all bored teenagers do but I know they get in the way of buses and people.

“There’s definitely vandals around that will smash a few things up every so often. The field also gets ripped up and recently a load of dustbins got set on fire.”

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Pub chain giving away FREE pints to anyone with one of these 50 surnames

Are you on the list?

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Greene King

England’s World Cup campaign got off to a flying start yesterday with a convincing 6-2 win over Iran.

Our Welsh neighbours – who are also in Group B with us – managed a draw with the USA, thanks to a late Gareth Bale penalty.

But goals aren’t the only thing to celebrate this World Cup, as a pub chain is giving away FREE pints to lucky fans who have one of 50 surnames.

Gerald England / Geograph

Greene King is dishing out a free drink to anyone who has the same surname as a player in either the England or Wales squads.

If you have one of the lucky last names, you can claim a pint on the house at any point during an England or Wales game.

All you have to do is head to a participating Greene King pub with your driving licence or passport to prove your name.

Anyone with one of these 50 surnames can claim the free pint: 

Hennessey
Ward
Davies
Cabango
Lockyer
Rodon
Mepham
Ampadu
Gunter
Williams
Roberts
Thomas
Allen
Smith
Levitt
Wilson
Morrell
Ramsey
Colwill
Bale
Moore
Harris
Johnson
James
Pickford
Pope
Ramsdale
Alexander-Arnold
Coady
Dier
Maguire
Shaw
Stones
Trippier
Walker
White
Bellingham
Gallagher
Henderson
Mount
Phillips
Rice
Foden
Grealish
Kane
Maddison
Rashford
Saka
Sterling
Wilson

All you need to do is head down to your nearest participating boozer and show the bar your photo ID during any England or Wales World Cup group stage game.

You can find the nearest pub to you taking part in the offer here.

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Will Ferrell appeals for spare room in North West to watch Eurovision

Got any room for Will?

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Earlier this year it was announced that Eurovision 2023 would be held in Liverpool instead of Kiev, due to the ongoing war in Ukraine.

Following the news, all hotels and accommodation in the city quickly sold out – with many establishments dramatically increasing their prices in the process.

As such, finding somewhere to stay during the annual song contest has become nigh on impossible, even if you’re a Hollywood superstar like Will Ferrell. 

Will recently appealed for help in finding accommodation for next year’s Eurovision during an appearance on BBC Radio 2 to promote his new film Spirited.

The actor previously wrote and starred in the 2020 film Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga, playing Icelandic singer Lars Erickssong.

READ MORE: Will Ferrell’s Buddy the Elf returns to screens in new Asda Christmas advert

During the BBC interview, Zoe Ball mentioned how much she enjoyed the film, to which Will responded: “And it’s in Liverpool this year, isn’t it?”

After being asked if he wanted to go, he said: “You know my mother really wants me to take her to Eurovision, she’s dying to go and she’s always wanted to go to Liverpool.”

Will added: “But aren’t the hotels all booked now?”

After the comedian appealed for a spare room to stay in, Zoe said: “If anyone is willing to put up Will Ferrell and his mum in Liverpool or the Liverpool area during Eurovision.”

Will revealed his requirements: “We need a clean, tidy room. We’ll share a room – two bunk beds that’s all we need. I know we’re kidding but my mom would love that, she’d be thrilled.”

Eurovision 2023 will consist of two semi-finals on May 9th and 11th, before the final on May 13th.

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