Conservative MP "Not Sure" How Their Family Will Pay Bills If Energy Costs Keep Rising
A Conservative MP has said he is “not sure” how his family will be able to pay if bills of energy costs continue to skyrocket.
MP for Elmet and Rothwel Alec Shelbrooke told PoliticsHome he has seen “absolute fear in people’s eyes” on the doorstep over the last six months as energy bills have reached an all-time high.
The price cap, which is set by regulator Ofgem, is expected to reach over £3,400 in October and rise again in January, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues to drive global gas prices. Industry experts BFY said yesterday it could reach as high as £3,850 at the start of next year.
“I've been on the doorstep for decades, and you always get people moaning at you on the doorstep [...] that's politics," the West Yorkshire-based MP told PoliticsHome podcast The Rundown on Thursday.
“What I've been seeing on the doorstep for the last six months is fear, absolute fear in people's eyes.
“They are terrified as to what is coming down the line, they don't know how they're going to pay it.
“To be honest, I'm not sure how in my family we're going to pay if it carries on going up this road."
Shelbrooke added that to meet bills currently, "we're taking money out of the economy, for paying for exactly what we already had".
He also drew attention to increased mortgage payments taking money out of the economy as rising interest rates also take a hit on household finances.
“I could afford these, everybody knows MPs earn good salaries," he continued. “But I'm doing it by taking money out of the economy.”
MPs are paid a salary of £84,144 per year, with many supplementing that income with additional work.
Shelbrooke is backing Foreign Secretary Liz Truss in the Conservative leadership election, and praised her plans for an emergency budget if she wins.
Earlier on Thursday, money saving expert Martin Lewis dismissed the cost of living policies laid out by Truss and rival Rishi Sunak so far as “trivial”.
He warned that the continued rise of energy prices would "throw many households into a terribly difficult financial situation that will leave them making some awful choices".
He said waiting until September when the next prime minister is in Downing Street to take further action is "absolutely too late" and that “we will already be absolutely in the mire of this.”
"I've never seen anything like this," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.
It also emerged on Thursday that Energy regulator Ofgem is considering plans to help cash-strapped prepayment customers avoid getting disconnected – but only by getting into debt instead.
Listen to the full interview on the latest episode of The Rundown, out Friday. Click here to subscribe.
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