Image courtesy of BBC News
Image courtesy of BBC News

This response was sent to people who contacted me about the spiralling cost of energy:

Thank you very much for contacting me about this.

With a cost-of-living crisis already hitting families across the country, the energy price cap is predicted to rise by 50% from April. This means a £600 increase on the average energy bill on top of the £120 increase we have already seen and is expected to drag 1.5 million more families into fuel poverty.

Soaring energy prices are also hitting businesses. The Federation for Small Businesses reports that 45% of members are seeing their energy bills shoot up, while the Energy Intensive Users Group, which represents vital industries such as steel and pharmaceuticals, has called repeatedly for “immediate action”.

This is an economic crisis plain and simple. Yet months into this crisis, the Government has yet to come forward with a proper solution.

You can watch me press the Government on these issues here:

I do not believe that millions of struggling families should be left to face this situation alone. It is therefore vital that we do all we can to act. I believe it is right to look to those benefiting from this crisis to contribute. That is why I support calls for the introduction of a windfall tax on the profits of North Sea oil and gas producers.

Shell has just announced profits of $20bn. A windfall tax on oil and gas producers would raise £1.2 billion that could be used to help fund a package of support for families and businesses facing the energy price crisis. This package should include reducing VAT on energy bills to zero and increasing the warm homes discount from £150 to £400 and extending it from the 2.2 million families who currently receive it to nine million. It should also include £600 million to help our businesses out. However, our Chancellor would rather load the costs onto working people and pensioners.

You can watch Labour’s Shadow Chancellor Rachael Reeves outline our plans here:

Rather than defending oil and gas companies profiting from the crisis, the Government needs to act on the side of the millions of struggling families and businesses suffering under it.

I was deeply disappointed that when Labour’s plans fully costed plans to save £200 a year for two and a half million households in Scotland in addition to the proposed £600 for the 815,000 households hardest hit by the cost-of-living crisis were debated in the House of Commons the SNP failed to back them in a vote.

The SNP must stop fighting flags and put their shoulder to the wheel to help those who need it most, just fostering grievance simply isn’t good enough.

Therefore, Scottish Labour has created an action plan for both Scotland’s governments to tackle the crisis. You can read our action plan here:

I have written about both Scotland’s governments poor decisions and failures to tackle this crisis in my op-ed for the Edinburgh Evening News recently, that you can read here:

Thank you once again for contacting me about such a crucial issue and I can assure you I am pressing both Scotland’s governments to do what’s right for working people.

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