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Energy Crisis: Conservative inaction forcing families into poverty

January 12, 2022 10:25 AM

Rising costs ()

Following Conservative MPs voting against Labour's opposition day motion on energy bills, Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said:

"We are bitterly disappointed that the Conservatives have voted to do nothing for people facing soaring heating bills.

"Millions of people are facing a choice between heating and eating and yet the Tories are still refusing to act.

"The Conservatives are forcing families into poverty and won't even take the simplest of measures to give people a bit of support."

Ellen Nicholson, South West Wiltshire Liberal Democrats spokesperson said "the Lib Dems have proposed a "Robin Hood Tax" - a one-off levy on firms who have made huge profits from record high gas prices. This would include oil and gas producers along with energy traders such as Gazprom's trading arm that profit from betting on fluctuations in energy prices. The levy would raise an estimated £5 billion to £7 billion".

This would be spent on:

Doubling and extending the Warm Homes Discount (£2bn): Taking £300 a year off the heating bills of around 7.5 million vulnerable and low income households, by more than doubling the Warm Homes Discount and extending it to all those on Universal Credit and Pension Credit. This would also reduce energy bills for all households across the country, as currently the Warm Homes Discount is paid for by other customers rather than through taxing the super-profits of oil and gas companies.

Doubling the Winter Fuel Allowance (£1.9bn): Giving up to £600 a year to 11.3 million elderly pensioners to help with their heating bills, through a one-off doubling of the Winter Fuel Allowance. Pensioners are currently facing a £208 real-terms cut to the state pension next year due to the Conservative government's decision to scrap the triple lock. This would cost an estimated £1.9 billion.

A new ten-year home insulation scheme (£500m): This would be spent on reducing people's energy bills in the long-term through an emergency home insulation programme to upgrade poorly insulated UK homes - including through fully funded grants for those in fuel poverty and on low incomes. This would cost an estimated £500 million in the next year.

Supporting energy intensive businesses (£500m): This funding would be used to support businesses and protect jobs in energy-intensive industries, while helping firms reduce their need for energy in the long-term.