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Local MP Martin Docherty-Hughes has condemned the UK government for failing to do enough to support West Dunbartonshire families facing fuel poverty after Ofgem confirmed that average households will see energy bills rise by a staggering 54 per cent.

The energy regulator today announced that millions of households will see their energy bills rise to an average £1,971 from April – up by £693, which the SNP has warned will be a “hammer blow” to households.

Measures announced by UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak to ease the burden of households, including a £200 ‘buy now, pay later’ loan to every household, have been branded wholly inadequate by SNP MP Martin Docherty-Hughes.

The SNP are calling for a meaningful financial package to be introduced to protect household incomes in the face of the Tory cost of living crisis, including delivering a major energy grant, reversing Universal Credit cuts, matching the Scottish Child Payment UK-wide, and introducing a Real Living Wage.

Commenting, Martin Docherty-Hughes MP said:

“The news of a 54 per cent hike in UK energy bills will come as a devastating blow for families across Clydebank, Dumbarton and the Vale of Leven.

“One third of households in West Dunbartonshire are already living in fuel poverty, and the latest rise in energy prices will force many more into financial hardship.

“With bills going up by an average of £700, the Chancellor’s measures announced in Parliament today fall well short of what’s needed to tackle this Tory cost of living crisis.

“The Treasury’s plan of ‘buy now, pay later’ loans which need paid back isn’t the answer, and will only prolong the agony for the majority of families who will be hundreds or thousands of pounds worse-off due to Tory cuts, regressive NI tax hikes and rising inflation.

“Scotland is an energy-rich country, but under this Westminster government our communities are suffering from rising fuel poverty. The Chancellor must have an urgent rethink and deliver a meaningful package of support to tackle this crisis.”

Anyone seeking free and impartial advice on lowering energy bills can contact Citizens Advice Scotland and Home Energy Scotland.

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