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Time for radical action on energy prices

January 9, 2022 12:10 PM

t57k (Photo by Parvesh Kumar on Unsplash)As our Prime Minister works on ever less plausible excuses as to why he approached a Tory donor to fund his flat refurbishment apparently in exchange for pushing the donors desire for a new Great Exhibition, back in the real world where wall paper doesn't cost £800 per roll the people he was elected to serve are confronted with an ever growing cost of living crisis

With prices forecast to grow at 6-7% in the Spring, far outpacing wages, energy prices are expected to increase by around £700 per household and National Insurance is also due to increase by anything up to £1200 per worker ( someone on £30,000 - will pay an extra £255 a year (£21.25 per month) for example)

!n addition a recent freezing of income tax allowances slipped into the budget will plunge more than 1.2million people into the 40p higher tax band and an extra 1.5million into the 20p basic rate by 2026 with analysis by the Liberal Democrats, finding that the average British family will pay £430 more each year by then.

There has been talk of cutting VAT on fuel something once promised by Mr Johnson as a benefit of Brexit (see http://southsuffolklibdems.org.uk/en/article/2022/1421767/yet-another-abandoned-brexit-promise) but in truth that will only cut bills by around £100 pa. Better than nothing but not really the solution on its own

While energy bills rise for families, energy producing firms are making record profits.

As Liberal Democrats we are calling for a more radical approach

It's time for a one-off 'Robin Hood Tax' on the oil and gas barons' mega profits to fund extra support for those hardest hit by energy price hikes.

The levy would raise £5 billion to help the most vulnerable by doubling and extending the Warm Homes Discount, doubling the Winter Fuel Allowance, and helping reduce bills in the long term by investing in insulation and energy saving.

The Conservatives have ignored the problem of rising bills for too long.

We need action now so people aren't forced to choose between heating and eating this winter.

We also need to plan for the future , to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, to better insulate our homes and to stop us being caught at the whim of global energy prices. We need a radical green agenda as proposed by the Liberal Democrats ( seehttp://southsuffolklibdems.org.uk/en/article/2021/1417469/four-broken-climate-promises-by-the-conservatives)