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Millions face fuel poverty without immediate Government intervention

04 Jan 2022
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GMB, the energy union, warned millions of energy consumers face being dragged into fuel poverty without immediate Government intervention.

Energy bills are expected to increase by around £1,200 per household, according to the Resolution Foundation. [1]

High prices are rapidly becoming a crisis for consumers and are cause already rampant inflation to rise further.

GMB believes the issue is being too big for the market to deal with and is calling for increased Government intervention to provide certainty for consumers and businesses, including:

-             Investment in gas storage to ensure a degree of resilience against spikes in wholesale prices.

-             Green levies to be paid out of general taxation to ensure that the highest costs are born by those with the biggest pockets – cutting costs for two-thirds of households.

-             Increased Government investment in hydrogen technology as a viable green alternative to fossil fuels for heating purposes.

-             Investment in offshore gas to reduce dependency on imports, including in the Cambo field that holds an estimated 54 billion cubic feet of natural gas.

GMB believes that these policies will help address the cost of living crisis, save jobs, and contribute to hitting the UK’s net zero targets.

Andy Prendergast, GMB National Secretary, said:

"Calls from MPs to remove VAT and green levies from energy bills are a step in the right direction, but it doesn’t go far enough to resolve the huge problems facing the sector.

"It’s time to accept that this is an area that has been failed by the market, leaving to confusion and soaring bills to the public as a result.

"We need a root and branch intervention that provides long term stability for consumers and businesses alike. Whilst VAT holidays may provide some short-term protection, they will not go far enough or address long-term cost pressures.

"Furthermore, while the Tory right may cheer reductions in green levies, the simple fact is that climate change is real and that the money raised by the levy will need to replaced if we are to find a real solutions to the climate and jobs crises and not simply kick the can down the road."

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