We need to address these issues head on, and this means tackling the cost of living crisis, bringing down spiralling energy bills and shelving the latest round of Tory tax hikes.
Many constituents like yourself have contacted me in the past few weeks to voice their justifiable disgust towards a Government that is refusing to support people through this energy crisis.
Tory Ministers must be on another planet if they think people in Sheffield can afford this energy price bombshell. People across our city are worried sick about how they will cover the bills, and still the Tories are asleep at the wheel.
As you note, people across the country are feeling the real world impacts of rising prices. Whether it’s at the petrol pump or the supermarket, or when we get our energy bills, we’re all noticing it. In Sheffield the cost to households from April onwards when the energy price cap is lifted could reach a staggering £146 million.
Instead of supporting those in need, the Conservatives are choosing to give companies loans, loading costs onto taxpayers with a buy now, pay later scheme. We are being forced to pay the price for this Tory created chaos.
As a nation we have become exposed to this global gas crisis due to our gas storage being cut and terrible market regulation. Inevitably this has resulted in our reliance on Russian and Qatari supplies. Furthermore our homes have been left poorly insulated and we have failed to sufficiently invest in both renewable and nuclear energy.
It has never been more stark that our country has been left exposed by poor management and those who caused this crisis will feel little of the devastating consequences.
Once again the Government wants to load costs on the taxpayer. The proposed plan announced by the Chancellor doesn’t go nearly far enough and will barely register for people who are struggling to pay their bills. This policy will extend the courses for years to come for work people and shield the profiteering oil and gas companies.
I absolutely agree with you that enough is enough, therefore I am proud that the Labour party have produced a fully funded and most importantly practical solution to this crisis. Labour wants to reduce energy bills by insulating millions of homes; properly regulating the energy market; and investing in nuclear and renewables.
In the short term it is vital that we provide security for families across the country. Our plan to reduce energy bills would save households around £200 a year, with an extra £400 for the families and pensioners who need it most. Labour’s plan will get £600 to the lowest income households while the Conservatives will only give them £350. This would be paid for by a one-off windfall tax on the north sea oil and gas producers who’ve made a fortune from rising prices.
We need to ensure this crisis isn’t reproduced, therefore I believe we need a fundamental reform of our energy system. We must unleash the potential of British businesses and entrepreneurs so we can lead the world in new industries. Labour would seize the opportunities of the climate transition to create well-paid, secure jobs in all parts of the country.
Likewise it is imperative that we reduce our reliance on imported gas by accelerating home-grown renewables and new nuclear energy. By making sure 19 million homes are warm and well-insulated, saving households an average of £400 a year on their bills. Finally I want to regulate the market better, with a pledge to never again let energy companies play fast and loose with the rules.
Sheffield is now paying the price for a Government that is staggeringly out of touch. However this crisis was not inevitable and there is still time to safeguard the most vulnerable. I can assure you that I will be holding this Government to account for its failures and pressuring them to enact the necessary policy changes to reduce the fallout from this crisis.