Calls for Westminster to take action over household fuel bills

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The SNP have called on the UK Government to take urgent action on fuel bills, after figures show that soaring energy prices are now pushing thousands of middle class Scots into fuel poverty.

The calls follow reports in a Sunday newspaper that show – thanks to inflation-busting fuel bills – around a third of households in Scotland’s middle council tax band now fall within the ‘fuel poverty’ category.  A household is defined as living in fuel poverty if it spends more than 10% of its income on energy bills.

The SNP have repeatedly called for action to address soaring energy bills – including looking at how fuel prices do not always rise and fall consistently with wholesale prices.  SNP MPs have also repeatedly called for VAT on building repair and maintenance to be reduced to 5%, which would make it cheaper for people to improve the insulation of their homes.

Mike Weir MP, the SNP’s Westminster Energy Spokesperson commented:

“We can now find fuel poverty among all walks of life.  The middle classes are not immune and when households are being squeezed by the rising cost of living and while wages stagnate or fall, continued rises in fuel costs are unsustainable.  If the UK Government does not act we are heading for a fuel poverty crisis.

“Encouraging customers to switch energy suppliers has been the UK Government’s answer to the problem of sky-high bills, but this strategy is not working.

“Prices are rising much faster even than the ability to cut costs by reducing consumption.

“If the UK Government was serious about reducing energy bills it needs to look at how prices rise quickly when the wholesale price goes up, but fall slowly, if at all, when the wholesale price falls.”