The October energy price rise must be cancelled to spare households
There is no other option but to cancel the October price rise. Households are facing a catastrophic increase in energy prices this October. With Bills expected to rise by a staggering 80 per cent, there is no other option but for the government to cancel the latest price cap increase.
Canceling the price cap would save households thousands per year and could be funded by an extension of the windfall tax that would backdate the tax on oil and gas company profits.
We have drawn up an Energy Price Cap Increase (Cancellation) Bill that would make Ofgem maintain the existing rates, saving households thousands. Unfortunately, this has fallen on deaf ears. The Conservatives are refusing to take action over fears that they will upset their friends in the oil and gas industry.
To make matters worse, lives are at risk this winter and we haven’t heard a single thing from Liz Truss or Rishi Sunak about how they would help. Neither has provided any detail on what they would do as prime minister. It is unthinkable that today’s announced price rise can go ahead without more support from the government on a considerable scale.
The soaring cost of energy will have a devastating impact on families, households, businesses, schools, the police, and hospitals.
Every day that goes by without any ideas or answers is a day of worry and anxiety for families and pensioners struggling to make ends meet. Families must be reassured that help is coming.
Now is not the time for dither and delay, we need urgent action. Instead, the Conservatives are burying their head in the sand instead of coming up with real, workable solutions.
The soaring cost of energy will have a devastating impact on families, households, businesses, schools, the police, and hospitals. Earlier this year a constituent wrote to tell me that he stayed in bed to keep warm because he couldn’t afford to put the heating on. Recently another wrote to say that they were going to cook their food on an open fire to try to save money on bills. This is not acceptable.
People cannot be left high and dry whilst the Conservative leadership candidates argue over and over. As millions suffer, the Conservatives are sitting on their hands and doing nothing. This is a national emergency that will affect everybody across the country.
The only option is for energy prices to be frozen before these rises wreak havoc on our communities. Then we need a proper plan to be put in place to bring bills down next year.
There is no wonder that people are worried. Parliament must be recalled for the government to pass a law to scrap the energy price rise as soon as possible. Yet, we are still faced with a deafening silence from the Prime Minister, the Chancellor, and the Conservative leadership candidates.
Let's be clear, lives are at risk this winter. The Conservatives must cancel the October price cap and put together a long-term plan to tackle the energy cap crisis. They are currently flying blind, ignoring the problem and wishing that it goes away.
Wera Hobhouse is Liberal Democrat MP for Bath
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