Cost of living news – live: Millions of pensioners to receive energy bill support today

More than 11.6 million pensioners will begin to receive up to £600 from the government today to support them with their energy bills.

To alleviate the rising pressure from the cost of living and energy crisis, pensioners will receive the Winter Fuel Payment over the next two months as part of the government’s £37bn cost of living package.

This year’s payments have been boosted by an extra £300 per household Pensioner Cost of Living payment and should be automatically paid by mid-January.

Elsewhere, Rishi Sunak has been forced to delay planning reforms amid significant pushback from Conservative MPs, demanding an end to the mandatory target of building 300,000 homes a year.

The prime minister was due to face a major test of his leadership next Monday when parliamentarians were set to vote on the flagship Levelling Up Bill.

But nearly 50 backbenchers and former cabinet ministers have signed an amendment that would ban councils from taking housing targets into account while deciding on planning applications.

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