Martin Lewis has grilled Chancellor Rishi Sunak over the cost of living package he outlined on Thursday.

The MoneySavingExpert led a live question and answer session with Mr Sunak, speaking from B&Q, on the social media platform Twitter from 5.30 pm.

The live stream came after the Chancellor announced further cost of living support on Thursday to help struggling UK families cope with the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.

The crucial support comes as around 22% of Britons now admit they are struggling financially in the wake of a cost of living crisis, according to a new YouGov survey.

Watch Martin Lewis grill Chancellor Rishi Sunak in Twitter Q&A

Here are the main takeaways from Martin Lewis' interview with Mr Sunak.

The Chancellor began the Q&A by confirming the details of his earlier  announcement that would see £15 billion worth of new support available in some form to everyone.

The most vulnerable third of households are to receive £1200 of help. 

Rishi Sunak confirmed the temporary windfall tax on oil and gas giants but said it would include a “new investment allowance” to incentivise the reinvestment of profits.

With energy bills set to soar in October, households in England, Scotland and Wales will receive a £400 payment, over six moths, to help with rising costs.

Tweeters asked the Chancellor to clarify why he wasn't simply regulating energy prices and capping what the companies could charge and how it was more cost-effective to give these grants.

Martin Lewis posed: "...The crux of these questions, why don't we regulate energy companies to keep the prices the same?

Sunak responded that we do have an independent regulator - Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem) and added that we do have a price cap where many other countries do not.

He is also "urgently looking" into the best way to reform and he is "very sympathetic" that the market isn't working.

Lewis responded: "You're right though that the market is broken," repeating the phrase a couple of times.

The MoneySavingExpert also raised concerns over missed groups that were not covered by the cost of living packages including those on Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) contributions or on carer's allowance.

Since ESA is a contribution-based allowance, it means that they don't get the £650 like people on other benefits.

Sunak replied: "Very simply our existing system is the best system we have to help the most vulnerable groups."

In response, the Chancellor said that majority of the people who have a carer's allowance will live with someone on a means-tested benefit meaning they will still get one of the below payments.

One third of all UK households will receive one or more of the payments

  • £650 for those on benefits
  • £300 extra for pensioners
  • £150 on top for those on non-means-tested disabilities

There is a council discretionary fund, which the government topped up with £500 million on Thursday, to assist with individual cases. 

The Money Saving Expert then asked the Chancellor for those who just miss out on Universal Credit - "the just about managing category" and therefore, also miss out on any further cost of living support.

"It is right that we prioritise with those who are in most in need."

The limited 15-minute interview also saw Mr Lewis ask the Chancellor about the mental health impact that the cost of living crisis has had and the delay in providing support.

Lewis also raised concerns over the timing of the announcement following the bombshell publication of the Sue Gray report.

"There is anger out there, there are many people out there that believe you are using this as a figleaf after the Sue Gray report," Martin explained.

The Chancellor "categorically" denied that there was any relation between the timing of the Sue Gray report and the support, giving his "absolute assurance and his word."

Following the interview, Martin thanks the Chancellor via his Twitter account for his appearance on the Q&A, writing: "Thanks to the chancellor for his time. I hope the questions I selected in the limited time were a decent representation of people's consumer finance concerns."