MP for West Dunbartonshire Martin Docherty-Hughes has warned UK government plans to cut support for energy bills in April will have devastating consequences for hard-pressed families.
Bills are set to increase by an average of £500 a year from 1st April, despite regulator Ofgem announcing that the energy price cap is to be lowered to £3,280 for the average household.
The Tory government has been criticised for plans to cut support for energy bills, with the UK Energy Price Guarantee (which limits the amount charged per unit of gas or electricity) set to rise by 20 per cent from April.
In March, the £400 Energy Bill Support Scheme, a crucial lifeline for struggling households, will also be scrapped.
It comes as BP, Shell, Exxon and other major energy companies report record profits – and the UK government refuses to expand the windfall tax or follow the lead of other countries in taxing the billions of pounds funnelled through share buybacks.
In 2019, almost one third of households living in West Dunbartonshire were estimated to be in fuel poverty. Due to the recent rapid increases in domestic energy prices, many more families are believed to suffering from fuel poverty – according to the House of Commons Library.
Commenting, Martin Docherty-Hughes MP said:
“In West Dunbartonshire energy costs are already unaffordable for too many. As families struggle, it’s absurd that the UK government is allowing energy bills to go up again in April.
“The Prime Minister and Chancellor’s plan to hike energy prices further will have devastating consequences for my constituents on the breadline.
“Meanwhile, energy companies continue to make eye-watering profits at the expense of hard-working households.
“Scotland is an energy-rich country, but our vast energy resources have been squandered by repeated British governments.
“The failing UK energy market shows why Scotland needs to escape Westminster control once and for all.”