10th August 202
Local Liberal Democrats have called on the Government to spare families from soaring energy costs by cancelling October’s price cap increase, accusing the Conservatives of “stalling in the face of a national emergency”.
The bold plan would save a typical household in South Lanarkshire an extra £2004.86 a year. The 70% increase in the energy price cap expected to be announced by Ofgem later this month would be cancelled, with the Government instead paying the shortfall to energy suppliers so that they can afford to supply customers at the current rates.
This would mean a total estimated saving for households in South Lanarkshire of £289,096,527 off their electricity and gas bills.
The Liberal Democrats say the estimated £36 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.
The party is 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.
Councillor Robert Brown, South Lanarkshire’s Liberal Democrat Group Leader, said:
“I have been appalled at the lack of action by both Boris Johnson and his two would-be successors on the energy crisis. This simply cannot wait another month until this dysfunctional Conservative Government sorts itself out – local people are hugely worried about how they will pay their current bills and keep themselves warm this winter.
This is an emergency, and the Government must step in now to help families and pensioners in South Lanarkshire and across the country by cancelling the planned rise in energy bills this October.
The Scottish Government should also do their part by kicking off a massive home insulation programme to bring down energy bills.
The Liberal Democrat plans are practical, costed and realistic – they are in stark contrast to the lack of action by the Conservative government and indeed the lack of ideas from the Labour opposition. We are calling it an “energy furlough” similar to the measures taken during the Covid emergency to support jobs. The energy crisis is the biggest social crisis in modern times and needs bold action. Commentators have already described the plan as deserving praise.