RISHI Sunak claimed he could not comment after he was quizzed on why the UK Government will be subsidising a private energy firm to the tune of £1.5 million every day until 2027 as millions of people struggle with their bills.

The Prime Minister was challenged about the subsidies given to Drax by the SNP’s Tommy Sheppard at PMQs on Wednesday.

Sheppard claimed the UK Government was incentivising deforestation through a “gross distortion of energy policy”.

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The Edinburgh East MP said: “Over the last two years, the Drax power station in Yorkshire has burned an average of nearly 20,000 tonnes of trees every single day, releasing an equivalent amount of carbon into the atmosphere.

“During that time, while our constituents have struggled with their heating bills, the private company running Drax has received £1.5 million of subsidy through the Government’s energy policy every single day. That is set to continue until 2027.

“Will the Prime Minister step in and review this grotesque distortion of energy policy, which incentivises deforestation while making no contribution to tackling the climate emergency?”

But in response, Sunak claimed he could not comment before taking a jab at the SNP over the economy.

The Tory leader said: “While I cannot comment on the contract details of one particular company, what I can comment on is our record on this issue.

“Since the benchmark was established, emissions in this country have fallen by nearly 50%, and we have also grown the economy by two-thirds – although I know the SNP government are not as focused on that as we are.

“At the same time, because of the way in which we regulate new and renewable energies, we have seen the price of renewables such as offshore wind decline from £140 an hour to about £40. That shows a regulatory system that is working in delivering lower-cost, renewable energy to British families.”

As it stands, energy regulator Ofgem’s price cap means a typical dual-fuel household using direct debit would pay £3280 a year. However, the UK Government’s mitigation policy reduces this to £2500.

In April 2021, the price cap for the same customer was around two-thirds lower, at £1138 per year.