energy crisis
energy crisis

Energy crisis to bring more low income Cambridge families into poverty

In a motion to Cambridge City council on Thursday 3rd March, Cllr Richard Robertson will draw attention to the disproportionate impact on families on low incomes of the energy crisis.

Cllr Robertson explains:

“The energy crisis has been building for some months now and at first it seemed the government was ignoring the issue. When they did announce some measures it became apparent that help was badly targeted so that poorer families will not get help to the extent that they will need. Using the council tax system to distribute the assistance will lead to many people missing out – such as tenants whose rent includes the council tax, and students who are all exempt from paying council tax. Many households face huge increases in their energy bills and this £150 rebate won’t help much at all.”

He continued:

“The increase in the ‘energy cap’ on prices is going to be a very limited help to most people given the huge scale of the increases. Those households in blocks of flats with communal heating schemes are not even eligible for the cap. The government should have increased the Warm Homes Discount instead. This is a means tested assistance and would reach households who really need it far more effectively than the council tax rebates and energy cap will.”

Cllr Robertson also called for long term solutions:

Yet again this government has failed to recognise the need to invest for the long term. They should be putting money into improving insulation and energy efficient heating systems, particularly on the large number of older houses we have. That way less energy would be used in future years. The government’s announcement provides nothing for the long term.”

Cllr Robertson further added:

“The invasion of Ukraine looks set to push the cost of oil and gas even higher. There will be many households in the Cambridge area and across the whole country who will face huge increases in their cost of heating. The government must act to provide much more assistance, and with far more accurate targeting of help to households who need it. A windfall tax levy on the huge profits being made from the increase in prices would pay for this, both now and into the future if there was investment in energy efficiency measures.”

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