I have written to Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer, conveying the importance of the situation families are experiencing in East Kilbride, Strathaven, and Lesmahagow who are concerned by soaring energy prices.
Ofgem estimate that the energy price cap will increase from 1 April for approximately 22 million people. Those on standard tariffs paying by direct debit will see an increase of £693 from £1,277 to £1,971 per year). Prepayment metres will an increase of £708 from £1,309 to £2,017 hitting the most vulnerable in society hardest
It is vital that Government do more to protect the most vulnerable and those on low incomes from these rising price hikes. Loans are not acceptable for those who are concerned by debt and further support is needed.
Ofgem advises customers that In the first instance if customers are struggling to pay for energy bills, they should contact their energy supplier as soon as possible., customers may be eligible for extra help with their energy bills or services, such as debt repayment plans, payment breaks, emergency credit for prepayment metered customers, priority support and may be eligible for schemes like the Winter Fuel Payment or Warm Home Discount rebate.
I would encourage those concerned to Advice Direct Scotland has initiated a £3 million financial aid to support those struggling in Scotland with fuel poverty.
Any constituent can get in touch with Advice Direct Scotland, free of charge, on 0808 800 906 or alternatively visit www.advice.scot, and qualified counsellors can evaluate their suitability and direct them elsewhere if any additional help is required.
Dr Lisa Cameron said
“This is a devastating situation for many constituents and will hit the most vulnerable in our local community hardest. If any customers find that their bill is unaffordable, please do check if you can claim the Warm Home Discount and contact your supplier – I would like to reassure constituents that their supply will not be cut off and it is the duty of your supplier to put you on an affordable payment plan that constituents can afford, It should not come down to a choice between “heating or eating” and I will continue to raise awareness of this issue within Parliament whenever the opportunity arises”
I will publish Mr Sunaks to my letter response in due course