Following a dramatic rise in household energy bills for families in Bradford over this winter and a further expected rise in April, Bradford East MP, Imran Hussain, has urged the Government to end their inaction on the energy crisis and scrap VAT on domestic energy bills.
In recent months, Bradford families have seen serious rises in their energy bills. The price of energy is rising across the country and this is predicted to worsen in future months. Whilst the Energy Price Cap has limited the rises and protected many families this winter, this is not expected to last. February will see the price cap rise and the energy bills of Bradford families with it. Energy UK is estimating that bills could rise by as much as 50% from April when changes to the price cap take effect. If no action is taken, the average household would pay £700 a year more.
These price rises are part of a global energy shortage and gas price crisis, with 2021 seeing 27 energy suppliers go bust. However, the crisis in Britain also comes from over a decade of Conservative incompetence and lack of action in the energy sector. Underinvestment in renewable and nuclear energy has led to Britain being uniquely exposed to the crisis, due to its over-reliance on gas.
Imran has therefore today called for the government to take stronger action to protect families from rising energy, through ending VAT on energy bills, expanding and increasing the Warm Home Discount and lending extra money to suppliers to prevent failures and avoid the costs being passed onto families. A contingency fund of £600 million for emergencies relating to the energy price crisis should also be created. These actions would lessen the financial burden Bradford families face in the coming months.
Speaking on his call for the Government to scrap VAT applied to household energy bills, Imran said:
“In recent months, hardworking families have already seen their energy bills skyrocket, but from April they will face a rise as high as 50%, costing the average household around £700 a year at a time when we are already seeing one of the biggest squeezes on living standards in centuries.
“For many people in Bradford who are already feeling the pinch of the Government’s ideological austerity and underinvestment, this huge rise in their energy bills will mean they face the choice between heating or eating, and it is a stark example of the Government’s dismal decade in power that has seen underinvestment in renewable energy and a failure to take on exploitative energy companies.
“Ministers must therefore stop their dithering and delay, and back Labour’s plan to scrap the additional cost of VAT on top of household energy bills to give families in Bradford some financial breathing space this winter, whilst expanding the Warm Home Discount to include more low-income pensioners, all households with children on universal credit and more people with disabilities.”