There has been mixed local reaction to the Chancellor's Spring Budget which was unveiled today.
Jeremy Hunt announced the contents of his first Budget in the House of Commons this afternoon.
Among a raft of measures announced was the confirmation that the energy price guarantee will be extended for another three months until the end of June, limiting typical household energy bills to £2,500. Households on prepayment meters will get help as their charges will be aligned with direct debit charges.
But the £400 winter fuel payment will not be renewed, meaning costs for households will still rise in the short term.
The Chancellor also revealed £63m will be used to help leisure centres with rising swimming pool heating costs, and invest to become more energy efficient.
Fuel duty has been frozen for another 12 month. The 5p a litre cut in duty on petrol and diesel, due to end in April, is set to be extended for another year.
The lifetime limit on tax-free pensions savings will be abolished and the annual tax-free pension allowance will rise to £60,000.
The Office for Budget Responsibility has predicted the UK will avoid recession in 2023, but the economy will shrink by 0.2 per cent.
MS for Brecon and Radnorshire James Evans said there is "a lot to welcome" in the Budget, including the news that the UK will avoid a recession.
“The fuel duty freeze is particularly good news for motorists, and contrasts sharply with the Welsh Labour Government’s ban on roadbuilding," he said.
“Labour Ministers in Cardiff Bay will also receive significant consequential funding which they should use wisely – such as replicating the UK Government’s support for leisure centres and swimming pools.”
But Powys Liberal Democrats have said the budget was "devoid of any focus on rural Britain".
David Chadwick, Lib Dem candidate for Brecon and Radnorshire said: “The Conservatives government’s choice to hike energy bills will come as a hammer blow to families in Powys already struggling with soaring mortgages and rents, shopping bills and tax rises.
“These plans will push more families into fuel poverty, while oil and gas companies making record profits are let off the hook. Energy prices are the single largest issue in rural areas like ours."
The Lib Dems are calling on the Chancellor to cut the Energy Price Guarantee by £500 per household, funded through a proper windfall tax on the record profits of oil and gas companies. They have also called for extra targeted support for the least well-off households, including doubling the Warm Homes Discount to £300.
Mr Chadwick accused the Conservatives of being "so out of touch they might as well be on a different planet".
“In these tough times, local people deserve a proper plan to tackle this cost of living crisis," he said.
"That means a proper windfall tax, a costed £300 cut to energy bills and more help for our struggling small businesses.”