Rising fuel bills

It’s party politics but an interesting read. Analysis by the Liberal Democrats shows – they say – that the average yearly bill for households in Bath and North East Somerset is set to skyrocket by £601 – the equivalent of £50 a month – once the new energy price cap comes into effect.

This is above the forecasted national average uplift in bills for each household of £598 per year, meaning people in Bath and North East Somerset are set to be hit harder than most across the country.

Last year the average household in Bath and North East Somerset paid out £761 for their annual energy bill. Under the new price cap coming into force in April, that figure is set to rise to £1,362. 

The energy price cap is expected to be around £1,865, according to energy experts. More misery looms on the horizon for residents in Bath and North East Somerset unless action is taken to help them with the cost of bills, with the price cap expected to increase to over £2,000 when it is revised again in the autumn.

Bath MP Wera Hobhouse and the B&NES Liberal Democrats are calling for a one-off ‘Robin Hood’ tax on the super-profits of oil and gas giants, to fund an emergency package of support for local residents facing eye-watering increases to their heating bills.

This would include the doubling and expansion of the Warm Home Discount to those in receipt of Universal Credit or Pension Credit, giving 15,895 households in B&NES £300 each off their heating bills this year.

The Liberal Democrats are also calling for the doubling of the Winter Fuel Allowance to help 18,870 pensioners in the area keep their homes warm.

Wera Hobhouse MP

Wera Hobhouse, Liberal Democrat MP for Bath and Spokesperson for Climate Change, said:

“These figures reveal that people in Bath are facing eye-watering increases to their energy bills in April, while the Government is just sitting on its hands.

“Many pensioners and other local residents are already deeply worried about their next heating bill landing on their doormats.

“The Liberal Democrats have set out a clear plan to give thousands of people in our area £300 each off their heating bills this year. It’s time Boris Johnson stopped taking our local communities for granted and offered families the support they need to cope with energy price hikes.”

Liberal Democrat Council Leader Cllr Kevin Guy commented: 

“Families are facing an energy bill nightmare, while the Government is asleep at the wheel. They’ve failed to do anything to protect vulnerable people from this cost of living crisis.

“B&NES’s Lib Dem-run Council is providing a local Household Support Fund, with grants of £250 to help with energy costs this winter. However, we can only help the least-well-off. That’s why the Liberal Democrats are calling for the doubling and expansion of the Warm Home Discount Scheme and the doubling of the Winter Fuel Payments to protect vulnerable people this winter. This would be funded by a one-off ‘Robin Hood Tax’ on the super-profits of gas and oil companies and traders who are raking it in hand over fist.”

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