We need bold and urgent action to help families pay their bills and heat their homes this winter. There is no other choice.
Families and pensioners across the country are in the grip of a cost-of-living crisis. We have already seen energy bills rise by £700 this year. They simply cannot afford another, even bigger rise of £1,600 in October.
This is an emergency, and the Government must step in now to save families and pensioners £1,600 by cancelling the planned rise in energy bills this October.
The Liberal Democrat plan is to cancel the 70% increase in the energy price cap expected to be announced by Ofgem later this month. The Government would instead pay the shortfall to energy suppliers so that they can afford to supply customers at the current rates.
The estimated £42 billion 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.
A proper Windfall Tax could raise around £20 billion to help keep people’s energy bills from rising in October. Fossil fuel giants have seen their profits soar. BP and Shell made £29 billion in profits in the first six months of the year alone.
We are also calling for more targeted support for vulnerable and low income households. 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.
The contest to be leader of the Conservative Party might as well be happening in a parallel universe. Neither candidate has any idea how to help families and pensioners through what could be the toughest winter in decades.