This month the price of gas and electricity will shoot up, following a period of price control. I have been arguing that the government does more to help offset the impact of these higher bills on living standards.
I was pleased the government did offer a reduction of Council tax to many. It adopted the advice I and others offered to make a cut in fuel duty and to remove VAT from green products that can help cut energy use and bills. It has sought to delay some of the rise in bills. In the Spring Statement it raised the threshold for National Insurance, abating some of the impact of the National Insurance rise the government is imposing.
I do not think this is sufficient offset so I am pressing for more action. I wanted to see the cancellation of the National Insurance rise and the removal of VAT on domestic fuel.
I am also pressing for changes to energy policy to increase the supply of domestic energy to ease some of the shortages. I am hoping some of my proposals will be included in the Energy statement we are expecting soon from the government.
I am very worried about the cost of living pressures and will continue to press for more action to ease the impact. Government needs to bend all its powers to controlling the inflation, cushioning the impact and increasing supply where there are shortages. Pensions and benefits will need further review as prices rise, and the tax burden needs to be reduced.