MP CALLS FOR URGENT HEATING HELP
Friday’s announcement of record energy prices for millions of consumers has been condemned by a Renfrewshire MP.
Gavin Newlands, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, slammed the move as an “horrific indictment” on the UK Government and the lack of action to tackle the cost of living crisis.
The new price cap of £3,549 represents a staggering 177% increase in the costs since the beginning of the year, when the maximum cost for a households was £1,277.
Fuel poverty charity National Energy Action warned that the rise would fuel a, “crisis of the poorest households in our society facing Armageddon over the winter.”
The rise, announced by industry regulator OFGEM, could be dwarfed by further rises as industry experts are currently predicting average bills to top £5,000 by January and over £6,600 by April of next year.
Pre-payment customers, already disproportionately in poorer households, will see their payments rise even higher, to £3,608.
The Renfrewshire MP urged the UK Government to take immediate action to prevent a winter disaster.
“The latest hike in the energy price cap is an horrific indictment on the utter failure of successive Westminster governments over decades to ensure we have an energy market that works for the people rather than the energy companies.
“We are weeks away from a winter where millions of our fellow citizens will shiver in the dark because they are unable to afford to put the lights on. That is utterly shameful in such a wealthy country, and particularly in such an energy-rich country as Scotland.
“The UK Government have disappeared for the last few months while they squabble with each other over who leads the Tory party, with no plans and no action in sight that would help households who are facing financial ruin as a result of the failure of the energy market and the complete shambles at the heart of Whitehall.
“The discredited and dysfunctional OFGEM must scrap the price cap now – not months down the line after the damage has been done, but now, before more lives are impacted by unaffordable and unsustainable rises.
“Prices have to be frozen before the cap comes into effect, with real and fundamental reform of the broken energy market top of the UK Government’s agenda so that these circumstances can never happen again.”