Energy prices and cost of living

In recent weeks I’ve received a lot of distressing emails from constituents worried about the soaring cost of living. We may live in one of London’s most affluent boroughs, but many residents are living on the edge.

For people whose budgets are already stretched and who are facing potential cuts in Universal Credit too, rising bills could mean a choice between eating and heating. 

Whatever our financial circumstances, most of us are starting to notice the impact on our weekly food shop or heating bills – and that’s before the worst kicks in. Ofgem’s announcement that the energy price cap is set to soar by 54% in April will only add to the pressure on people’s wallets. It’s estimated that Richmond Borough residents will see energy bills increase by £651 on average. With interest rates rising and higher National Insurance about to take effect, consumers will face a triple-hit to living costs.

One constituent told me told me how she had made sacrifices and taken on extra work over the years to pay off her debts, only for the energy crisis to derail her efforts. Many of the emails I’ve received are from pensioners who’ve worked hard all their lives and are now struggling to pay energy bills on their modest pensions. As one constituent said, “Everything is increasing except our pensions.”

Families need help now. That’s why I’m supporting a ‘cost of living rescue plan’ that would save struggling families nearly £1,000 each this year. The plan would include doubling and expanding the Warm Home Discount, funded through a Robin Hood windfall tax on oil and gas company profits; scrapping the planned National Insurance tax hike; and ensuring low-income families can access cheaper broadband deals.  

Families in our area also need decent housing at a fair price, which is why I held a debate in Parliament to call on the Government to ensure that public assets like Teddington Police Station are retained for community use and affordable housing, rather than sold on the open market to the highest bidder. You can learn more about my campaign at munira.org.uk/TPS.

If you are looking for help managing your bills, the South West London Energy Advice Partnership provides energy advice across Richmond, Wandsworth and Merton to anyone in fuel poverty. Visit swleap.org.uk.


Munira Wilson, MP  

http://www.munira.org.uk

call 020 8977 0606 for her constituency office or 020 7219 6474 for her parliamentary office

%d bloggers like this: