As we all know, the cost of living crisis is one of the defining issues of our times. Families are struggling to make ends meet, and as we approach the tail end of summer, we are edging closer and closer to a winter that will be nothing short of disastrous for people right across Stockport and the United Kingdom.
The energy price cap – which is regulated and set by Ofgem – aims to ensure that energy prices don’t spiral out of control. However, over the past few months we’ve seen this cap lift higher and higher. In October, it’ll rise again, taking the average household annual bill to £3600. Worse, it’s anticipated to rise again in January to an eye watering £4,500.
These prices just aren’t feasible. They will obliterate family finances, and drive millions of people into fuel poverty.
That’s why, recently, Labour set out a simple, bold and necessary policy; to freeze the cap. After all, what exactly is the point of a price cap if it just keeps rising indefinitely? That’s why we need to intervene, stop the price rises, and protect working people from financial ruin. If we act now, we could save working families £1000 over winter.
This would be paid for primarily by increasing the scope of the windfall tax on energy companies who have been making exorbitant profits, and lowering Government interest payments on debt.
As someone who hears from people across Stockport on a daily basis who are genuinely worried sick about how they will afford to put food on the table, the importance of this potential policy intervention cannot be overstated. It also demonstrates the kind of Government Keir Starmer would lead; principled, responsible and on the side of working people.
I’ve grown increasingly frustrated with the lack of Government action on the cost of living crisis. Boris Johnson seems to have vanished off the face of the earth, and Rishi Sinai and Liz Truss seem totally out of touch with the severity of the situation.
In times of crisis, true leaders step up and show their worth. This crisis is too serious for dither and delay. I hope Labour’s intervention will send a simple message to the government; get serious, or move out the way.