‘Devastating consequences’ unless UK Government postpone energy price hike

68% of Welsh households could be in fuel poverty from April unless Chancellor postpones planned rise – Plaid Cymru

Plaid Cymru Treasury spokesperson, Ben Lake MP, has written to the Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt MP, warning of “devastating consequences for families across Wales” unless the planned sharp rise to domestic energy bills is postponed.


Together with his Plaid Cymru colleagues, Liz Saville Roberts MP and Hywel Williams MP, he warned that a “staggering” 67.7% of households in Wales could be living in fuel poverty after April 2023, unless the hike in the Energy Price Guarantee is postponed.

The Child Poverty Action Group estimate that 67.7% of Welsh households will spend 10%+ of their income on energy after April (after housing costs). The CPAG make estimates of household fuel poverty based on secondary analysis of the ONS Living Costs and Food Survey.

Under the Energy Price Guarantee, the UK Government sets maximum prices for gas and electricity. It is due to increase by 20% in April 2023, despite generally lower wholesale prices.

Mr Lake said that postponing the increase was “necessary to ensure more people are not dragged into fuel poverty”.

Ben Lake MP writes:

“The cost-of-living crisis has not abated for people in Wales and as such we urge you to postpone the 20% increase in the Energy Price Guarantee as a means of protecting many from further financial hardship.

“The Office for National Statistics showed that 35% of adults in Wales couldn’t afford to heat their homes to a comfortable standard in the run up to last Christmas, the highest of any nation in the UK. This was before the planned 20% increase in the EPG.

“The Child Poverty Action Group now estimate that a staggering 67.7% of households will be living in fuel poverty (defined as spending 10 per cent or more of net after housing costs equivalent income on fuel) after April 2023, unless the hike in the Energy Price Guarantee is postponed. 

“Postponing a further increase is now necessary to ensure more people are not dragged into fuel poverty. Not only is this the right decision but a practical one, as the expected fall in the cost of energy beyond July will mean that planned Government spending on the cap will be far less than was budgeted, allowing for money to be available for a postponement now. Maintaining the EPG will also help to reduce inflation which is disproportionately affecting the poorest households.

“If there is no postponement and the £400 Energy Bills Support Scheme is not extended, then this will have devastating consequences for families across Wales and the rest of the UK. National Energy Action predicts that the number of fuel poor households across the whole UK will rise from 6.7 million to 8.4 million from April.

“We urge you to give people certainty now ahead of the Budget in March and commit to maintaining the EPG rate of £2,500 a year for a typical household beyond April.”

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  • Carys Lloyd
    published this page in News 2023-02-20 10:21:07 +0000

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