THE AVERAGE household’s energy bill will rise by £693 annually after a 54% increase to the price cap announced yesterday which will undoubtedly plunge masses of homes into darkness!
With cold weather still to come, the elderly and vulnerable are now at greater risk of literally freezing to death in their own homes, as putting on the heating becomes increasingly unaffordable.
The new cap for England, Wales and Scotland will take effect in April and affect 22 million households. Bills for the average customer on a default tariff will rise to £1,971 a year from £1,277.
Prepayment customers will see an increase of £708 from £1,309 to £2,017.
This means the poorest people on the key card system will be hit the hardest!
In Parliament, Tory Chancellor Rishi Sunak said he will give people in council tax bands A to D a £150 council tax rebate in April.
He said: ‘We will spread out the price shock of rising energy bills over time.’
The new scheme means any reduction will automatically be clawed back with amounts added to future bills.
Labour refused to call for the re-nationalisation of energy and instead called for a cut in VAT.
Labour’s shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves described the plan to provide a £200 discount on energy bills as a ‘buy now pay later scheme that loads up costs for tomorrow’.
Reeves criticised Sunak for not scrapping VAT on energy bills.
Andy Prendergast, GMB National Secretary, said: ‘Energy is a basic need, not a luxury.
‘This increase will bring real hardship to workers across the country, from public sector workers facing yet more real terms pay cuts, to the millions of people on Universal Credit.
‘We all know energy prices have spiralled. But this cost of living crisis is a direct result of this government’s incoherent energy strategy.
‘From dismantling our gas storage capacity, to a muddled renewables policy which has delivered a regressive green poll tax and UK wind turbines built on the other side of the world instead of here at home.
‘Meanwhile, any plan to give companies loans in the vague hope that prices fall is clearly nonsense.
‘It’s a complete mess.
‘We need a sensible debate about how we meet and pay for our energy, otherwise tens of millions of workers and consumers – not to mention the planet – will continue to suffer.’
Dave Wiltshire, Secretary of the All Trades Unions Alliance said: ‘The entire energy industry must be nationalised now, under workers’ control, without a penny compensation for the huge companies profiteering from the misery of workers and their families freezing in their homes.
‘The trade unions must act and act now by calling a general strike to kick this government out and bring in a workers’ government and socialism.’
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