Cancel energy price cap rise to tackle cost-of-living crisis urge LibDems - The Evesham Observer

Cancel energy price cap rise to tackle cost-of-living crisis urge LibDems

Evesham Editorial 2nd Sep, 2022   0

LIBERAL Democrats in Wychavon are calling on the government to spare families from soaring energy bills by cancelling October’s proposed price cap increase.

The political party has added its voice to a call which is gaining momentum nationally as both former prime minister Gordon Brown and current Labour leader Keir Starmer have called on the Conservative government to stop “stalling in the face of a national emergency” and prevent millions of families falling into destitution this winter.

Locally, the Lib Dems estimate the move to cancel the price cap increase would save a typical household in Wychavon district an extra £1,700 a year.

The bold plan would see the increase in the energy price cap announced by Ofgem cancelled, with the government instead paying the shortfall to energy suppliers so they can afford to supply customers at the current rates.

The Lib Dems say the estimated £36billion cost should be met by expanding the windfall tax on oil and gas company profits, and using the government’s higher-than-expected VAT revenues as a result of soaring inflation.

Calls for more targeted support for vulnerable and low income households have also been made by the party. This would include doubling the Warm Homes Discount to £300 and extending it to all those on Universal Credit and Pension Credit, while investing in insulating fuel poor homes to bring prices down in the long term.

Coun Margaret Rowley, leader of the Liberal Democrats on Wychavon District Council, said: “Hard-working families in Wychavon are already struggling to make ends meet, and are deeply concerned about how they will cope with the predicted rise in energy bills.

“This Conservative Government is stalling in the face of a national emergency and, yet again, is simply not doing enough to put money back in the pockets of hard-working people.

“Countless families and pensioners are already struggling, and they cannot wait for a new Conservative leader to act.

“This is an emergency, and the Government must step in now to help families and pensioners in cancelling the planned rise in energy bills this October.”

Ofgem’s latest price cap rise will affect 24 million households and send the cost of using appliances rocketing.

An 80 per cent rise in the energy price cap will take place on October 1, taking the average household’s yearly energy bill from £1,971 to £3,549.

At the start of 2022 the average annual bill was £1,277, but the price cap is predicted to rise even higher next year, possibly reaching more than £6,600.


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