Rishi Sunak has said that he will give his £400 energy rebate to charity, and has suggested that other wealthy people could do the same.

The Chancellor yesterday doubled the planned £200 universal rebate to £400 and converted it from a loan to a grant as part of a £15bn package to help Britons weather the cost-of-living crisis.

However, as reported by The Independent, questions were raised after it emerged that the money will go to every household in the country, regardless of wealth.

Due to the cash being paid via a reduction in energy bills over six months from October, individuals who own more than one home will receive multiple payments – one for each property.

On Sky News Mr Sunak was challenged today, Friday, May 27, over why he did not means-test what is effectively a multi-million pound state subsidy to people who may not need the money.

Darlington and Stockton Times: The £200 loan was changed to a £400 grant by Mr Sunak (PA)The £200 loan was changed to a £400 grant by Mr Sunak (PA)

Addressing Sky News interviewer Niall Paterson he said: “You, like me, can also give that money to charity if you don’t need it. I’m sure you will, and set an example."

He added that the bulk of his package was closely targeted at the most vulnerable, with payments for welfare claimants, pensioners and people with disabilities.

However, we went on: “When you’re trying to help people on that scale, when you need to get help to tens of millions of people, you’ve got a choice - how best can you deliver that? The reality is when you’re talking about that number of people, there really aren’t many ways to do it.”

Mr Sunak did originally think that the best way to get the new rebate out to people was through another council tax reduction, but decided against it.

He explained: “We tried that and we tried to do it with a discretionary fund, and it’s worked reasonably well. But there are lots of cases of people who will say ‘Hang on, I happen to live in this expensive-looking house or in a high council tax band house, but I need help too’.

“How else would you get the support to those on middle incomes who are working hard, who do feel they need support - and I hear a lot from them every week. Just because they’re not on benefits or they they’re not pensioners, they still actually think ‘This is tough for me, it’s a £1,200 increase in my energy bill, it’s right that the government’s on my side’.

"And I do want to be on the side of those people.”