Labour MP Siobhain McDonagh took Rishi Sunak to task over handing out taxpayers’ money to households in the UK.
She told the Chancellor, who with his wife Akshata Murty appeared on The Sunday Times Rich List last, that 772,000 second home owners would receive £800 discounts – costing taxpayers £620m.
Some 61,000 people owning three homes will get a £1,200 discount – costing the public purse £73m.
Millions of households will receive a £400 discount, with £650 payments for eight million of the worst-off families.
She asked: “At a time when the total tax burden has risen to the highest level since the 1940s, is it really good use of taxpayer money for somebody on The Sunday Times Rich List, or indeed for any MP or government minister, to be receiving second home support when others are choosing between heating and eating?”
The Chancellor responded: “Having looked at the various delivery options that were in front of us, this is, we think, the most effective way to get support to a very large number of people in a way that would be timely and help them where they need to.”
He added: “There will be some people who don’t need that help – that is unfortunately the consequence of having to do policy in practical terms.”
The Chancellor also said there was no pressure from the Prime Minister to announce a package of financial support for UK households a day after Boris Johnson came under pressure due to the release of the Sue Gray report.
It comes as the Prime Minister faces a confidence vote among Tory MPs amid discontent over lockdown-busting parties at No 10 Downing Street.
Rishi Sunak told the Treasury Select Committee that he backs the Prime Minister and denied suggestions that his £21 billion package of support to offset soaring inflation and energy prices was used to direct attention away from the fallout over the report.
Committee member and Labour MP Rushanara Ali asked Mr Sunak if he came under political pressure to announce the package in May after he suggested he may wait until the autumn to hand out funds to hard-hit households.