Too many Households in Westminster are facing a bleak choice between heating and eating a few days out from the April energy price cap rise.
April’s increase, which will see energy costs surge by 54 per cent, will bring the energy price cap to just under £2,000 – increasing the average household bill by around £700 per year.
New analysis by the Labour Party has also revealed that 8.1 per cent of households in Westminster have pre-payment electricity meters.
While thousands of households across Westminster will feel the impact keenly, those on low incomes – often reliant on pre-payment meters – are expected to be hardest hit, facing a steeper average increase than those paying their energy bills via direct debit.
Fuel poverty in Westminster is expected to soar in the next month, with 13.6 per cent of households already in fuel poverty (using the Low Income Low Energy Efficiency definition*).
With Ofgem expected to increase the price cap again in October, since the start of the year the Labour Party has been calling for a comprehensive £6.6 billion package of relief measures to help support working families. This would include an immediate cut to VAT on energy bills and a windfall tax on North Sea Oil and Gas companies as well as an extension on the warm homes discount. This would save households between £200 to £600 per year.
Labour has also revealed its ‘green sprint’ for energy security to rapidly reduce our dependence on foreign energy. The plan would see major investment in a sustainable future by funding the insulation of 19 million homes, increasing offshore and onshore wind capacity and investing in solar, tidal, hydrogen and nuclear energy.
Meanwhile the Government has offered households a paltry £200 loan to offset costs which will ultimately be repayable over the course of five years and the Chancellor’s mini-budget last week has done nothing to offset the cost-of-living crisis faced by millions of Londoners.
In Westminster, the Labour Group have proposed increasing local action retrofitting, insulation and double glazing (both speeding up efforts address these problems in Council Homes and to provide support to those in the private sector) to help people cut their bills to help local residents with the cost-of-living crisis.
Adam Hug, Leader of Westminster Labour Group said:
“People in Westminster are really worried about their bills and they just don’t know what they are going to do to make ends meet. The Chancellor squandered his chance to put this right in his mini-budget but came up with nothing to help working people. Only Labour has a comprehensive plan to help Westminster residents.
“With 8.1 per cent of households in Westminster on pre-payment electricity meters and 13.6 per cent of households already in fuel poverty I’m gravely concerned. Parents skipping meals so their children don’t have to go hungry. Families struggling to make ends meet on the very basics – buying their children school uniforms and new shoes. Older residents thinking twice about putting on the heating because they’re worried sick about the rising costs.
“In Westminster we are committed to freeze Council Tax and tried to amend the last Conservative budget to freeze Council rent to help tackle the cost of living crisis. If elected we will invest more to support retrofitting, insulation and double glazing to help people cut their bills but we also desperately need a comprehensive plan from government.
“We need everyone in Westminster to send Boris Johnson a message on 5 May that they want change by voting for Labour.”