Retail trade union Usdaw has condemned the Government for their failure to protect already struggling households from energy price shocks, as Ofgem today announce that the price cap will almost treble this year by October.

Usdaw’s survey of over 3,000 members found that 75% have already relied on unsecured borrowing to pay bills, with 57% now struggling to keep up with repayments. When asked how they would cope with rising energy prices:

  1. 30% would not use heating.
  2. 62% would significantly cut down on heating.
  3. 40% would cut out other essentials, such as food.

Paddy Lillis – Usdaw General Secretary says: “Too many low-paid essential workers, who kept the country going during the pandemic, are now struggling to pay their energy bills. Today’s announcement means that in October energy prices will have trebled this year, taking average direct debit bills from £1,277 to £3,549. This is simply unaffordable for most households and is forecast to get much worse.

“Evidence from our survey of over 3,000 Usdaw members shows that three-quarters are forced to borrow to pay bills and over half are struggling with repayments. 40% are having to choose between heating or eating. Almost all will have to significantly reduce heating use or switch it off altogether to cope.

“We are truly facing a cost of living national emergency, created by the Tories. As workers struggle to make ends meet, we have a zombie government doing nothing to tackle this. Their record has been to offer little more than sticking plasters and now they’re doing even less than that.

“Keir Starmer is again leading the way with a substantial proposal to freeze household energy costs; having originally proposed the windfall tax on energy companies, which the Government eventually adopted. Labour has now put forward a proposal that would protect the average household from October’s increase and the next price cap review for January, while keeping inflation down.

“We desperately need an emergency budget and Labour’s energy price plan should be at the heart of it. This plan shows the clear and positive difference that a Labour Government can make for our members and the country.”

Link to Instagram Link to Twitter Link to YouTube Link to Facebook Link to LinkedIn Link to Snapchat Close Fax Website Location Phone Email Calendar Building Search