The man seeking to replace Rebecca Pow as Wellington's representative in parliament has said the government are so out of touch they "appear to be on a different planet."

Gideon Amos, Liberal Democrat candidate for the Wellington area, made the comments in response to the government's budget.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt set out the government's spending plans for the year to come in his Spring budget on Wednesday.

Responding to the plans Mr Amos said: "Instead of the Conservative Government’s choice to hike energy bills which will come as a hammer blow to families in our area - Lib Dems have a positive practical plan which would help already struggling with soaring mortgages and rents, shopping bills and tax rises.

“The Government’s actions are pushing more families into fuel poverty, while oil and gas companies are let off the hook, making record profits at the expense of ordinary bill payers.

“The Conservatives are out of touch, ought to be out of office and appear to be on a different planet. 

“In tough times like this, people deserve a proper plan to tackle this cost-of-living crisis. That means a proper windfall tax, a £500 cut to energy bills and investment in our local health services.”

The government's Energy Price Guarantee caps the amount utilities companies can charge on a per unit basis. The scheme sees an average household paying £2500 for energy per year.

Although the Energy Price Guarantee represents a 96 per cent increase on the 2021/2022 limit, it still represents a saving for consumers against spiralling market rates, with the government paying the difference.

The government says without the cap, the average household would be spending £4279 per year on energy bills.

As part of a package to tackle fuel poverty the chancellor also outlawed premiums faced by households who pay for energy on prepayment metres. The government said this would cut energy bills for over 4 million families.

In addition, low income and vulnerable households will receive £900 cash payments over the coming year, with benefits and pensions set to rise by over 10 per cent.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said: "High energy bills are one of the biggest worries for families, which is why we’re maintaining the Energy Price Guarantee at its current level.

"With energy bills set to fall from July onwards, this temporary change will bridge the gap and ease the pressure on families, while also helping to lower inflation too."

Taunton Deane MP Rebecca Pow welcomed the budget, saying: "A sound handle on what’s needed now to grow the economy, reduce debt, tackle inflation and boost the work force."

The full and entire budget can be read on the government website.