Huge increases in fuel bills have been announced by the privatised energy companies. Millions of families including many of my constituents are already struggling to make ends meet. The cost of a typical dual fuel bill is now £1,310 – up by £200 since this Tory-led Government came to power.
More than 6.6 million households across the UK cannot afford to heat their homes, putting them at risk of serious health problems. The number of households in debt to their electricity supplier has increased by more than 25% to 850,000. The number of gas customers in the red has risen by 20% to more than 700,000.
Despite vague promises from the Prime Minister the government has done nothing to help. On the contrary it is scrapping Warm Front, cutting Winter Fuel Payments and replacing the social tariffs with the poorly designed Warm Home Discount which will leave millions without support.
Unlike this Government, Labour is prepared to stand up to powerful vested interests in the energy industry.
Labour would take the tough action necessary to drive down bills, break up the dominance of the ‘Big Six’ energy companies, create a tough new energy watch dog and ensure that over-75s are always put on the cheapest tariff.
But Labour wants to do more than just talk tough, we want to provide real help now. That’s why we are the first British political party to launch a collective switching scheme - ‘Switch Together’ – to help people come together to secure a cheaper deal on their energy bills.
If you’re interested in signing up and seeing if you can get a better deal through collective switching, visit www.switchtogether.org.uk. Our plans would provide real help now, as well as reform the way our energy market works for the long-term.