Chancellor 'Too Timid' on Energy Bills Says Ruth Cadbury

Brentford & Isleworth MP calls for a windfall tax on energy producers

Ruth Cadbury accuses the chancellor of being misleading

Brentford and Isleworth MP Ruth Cadbury has urged the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak to take urgent action after Ofgem announced that energy bills could rise by close to £2,000 a year for many households.

Speaking in Parliament on Thursday 3 February, she called on the Chancellor to introduce a windfall tax on energy companies such as Shell, who recently announced profits of nearly £20 billion. She also criticised Mr Sunak for presenting his new energy loans as ‘rebate or discount’ when customers will be forced to pay them back over 5 years.

Speaking in full after her question Ms Cadbury said, ‘‘Today’s announcement from the Chancellor is far too timid and far too late to help families struggling rising cost of energy. It’s not fair that today’s announcement will see people waiting until October for a £200 loan, which they will then be forced to pay back. People locally can’t afford to wait over six months for a loan - they need urgent action today. The Chancellor’s statement also offered nothing for businesses, or schools, which are also faced with unaffordable energy bills.

“That’s why I have called on the Government to take urgent action by cutting VAT on energy bills- as the Prime Minister promised in 2016. On top of this the Government should expand the warm homes program to cover more families and ensure they have direct financial support. Additionally we need to see urgent action to insulate homes across the country, which would reduce bills and create well paid green jobs.

“This could be funded through a windfall tax on the energy producers who’ve made huge profits from the energy crisis. Previous Chancellors from both major parties have introduced windfall taxes in the past.

“I know how worried many people locally will be about this huge spike in prices and I will continue to campaign for the Government to do more to support people at this difficult time.’’

The chancellor announced that all households would receive £200 off their energy bills in October – but then pay the discount back by £40 a year over five years from 2023. In addition council taxpayers in England in bands A to D would receive a rebate of £150 from their bills in April, which will not have to be paid back. Local authorities are also receiving £150m to make discretionary payments to the neediest and the number of low income households eligible for the warm homes discount – worth £150 from October – is to be increased by a third to 3million.

The chancellor said, “Without government intervention the increase in the price cap would leave the average household having to find an extra £693. The actions I’m announcing today will provide to the vast majority of households just over half of that amount, £350.

“In total the government is going to help around 28m households this year. Taken together this is a plan to help with the cost of living worth around £9bn.”

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February 4, 2022