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Rural areas set to be hit hardest by energy bill price hike

January 31, 2022 2:14 PM
By Liberal Democrats
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

Families are facing an energy bill nightmare, while this government is asleep at the wheel.

Bills are expected to rise by an average of £598 a year. Rural areas will be hit hardest by the expected rise in energy bills in April with increases of £700 or more.

It is hardly surprising that it is people in rural areas who are facing the biggest rises in bills this year, where the Conservatives are turning a blind eye to families in their own backyard.

Of the 20 local authorities with the highest increase in bills, 16 are represented by only Conservative MPs. This includes the Chancellor Rishi Sunak's area of Richmondshire, where people face an average rise of £737, the fourth highest rise in England. People living on the Scilly Isles face average increases of £968, higher than anywhere else in the country.

This is yet more evidence that the Conservatives are taking our rural communities for granted. They've consistently failed to do anything to protect vulnerable people from this cost of living crisis.

Millions of people will be struggling with energy bills over the coming months. For years the Conservatives have ignored this problem and failed to take the bold action we need to reduce fuel poverty. Boris Johnson cannot look the other way any longer while families face an impossible choice between heating and eating.

There must be urgent support right now. Liberal Democrats would:

  • Double and extend the Warm Homes Discount: Taking £300 a year off the heating bills of 7.5 million vulnerable and low income households;

  • Double the Winter Fuel Allowance: Giving up to £600 a year to 11.3 million pensioners to help with heating bills.

  • Provide a new ten-year home insulation scheme: Helping to reduce people's energy bills in the long-term through an emergency home insulation programme to upgrade poorly insulated UK homes.

  • Support businesses and protect jobs: By helping firms reduce their energy costs in the long-term.

This would be funded by a one-off 'Robin Hood Tax' on the super-profits of gas and oil companies and traders. Targeting those making a profit from rising gas prices while families struggle.

Back the Windfall Tax

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