SNP MSP Alasdair Allan has demanded urgent action from the UK government to financially support people with spiralling energy costs.
The MSP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar has joined with colleagues calling on the UK government to:
- Scrap the upcoming increase to the energy price cap
- Double the energy grant to £800 and ensure all payments are made by the beginning of October
- Introduce an energy price cap for Small and Medium Enterprises
- Bring in a further windfall tax and extend it to include all large businesses who made significant profits during the pandemic
A recent study found that 72.8% of those living in Scotland will fall into fuel poverty by January 2023 without further action from the UK government.
The Western Isles MSP is actively working with community groups and representatives to develop a range of local initiatives to help those struggling with their energy bills to access relevant advice, as well as financial and practical support.
The Scottish Government is using its limited powers to extend eligibility for and increase the Scottish Child Payment, carry out an emergency budget review to identify any further opportunities to redirect additional resources to those most in need, and is looking at what options are available to devolved government for regulatory action to limit increases in costs for households and businesses.
Commenting, Alasdair Allan said:
“The UK Government must come out of hiding and take urgent action to address spiralling energy costs – people in the Western Isles cannot wait until the Tories have decided who their next leader will be.
“Any action must include scrapping the energy price cap rise, doubling the energy grant, and bringing in an energy price cap for businesses. I have already had a number of island businesses and local residents contact me to highlight how concerned they are about being unable to afford their energy bills this winter.
“While the Scottish Government is doing what it can with its limited powers to help people in Scotland through the Tory-made cost-of-living crisis, including spending £700m mitigating the bedroom tax and benefit cap, it is the UK government that has the powers that will make the most difference.
“I am therefore urging Tory ministers to stop passing the buck and take responsibility for supporting people with their energy bills - otherwise millions will be pushed into, or further into, poverty and destitution, and lives could be lost. The Western Isles already experiences some of the highest levels of fuel poverty in the UK, and I am deeply worried about the consequences this winter if we do not see drastic and immediate action from the UK Government.”