Campaigners have written to candidates in the race to become the next Prime Minister asking that they urgently set out how they plan to address the cost of living crisis driven by soaring energy bills.
The letter from a new national coalition, Warm This Winter, which brings together anti-poverty and environmental organisations, including Save the Children, End Fuel Poverty Coalition and WWF, points to the urgency of the national economic crisis facing the country: ‘We are headed into a potentially catastrophic winter. In just eleven weeks time, twelve million British families – almost half of the British population – may not be able to afford to heat their homes.’
According to the latest predictions, from October 1st the average annual energy bill will be over £3200. That means, for example, that the average pensioner will spend more than a third of their state pension on heating their home – and many people, including families, will have to choose between heating and eating. In the words of Martin Lewis last week: “Millions of households will be forced into poverty unless we act. This is a genuine, urgent emergency.”
A spokesperson for the End Fuel Poverty Coalition said:
“Based on current estimates, well in excess of a third of all homes will be in fuel poverty this winter, yet the candidates to be our next Prime Minister are ignoring the single most pressing issue facing families across the country. Unless leadership candidates deliver bold and decisive action, the next Prime Minister’s first act as leader will be to preside over the worst winter for millions of people in living memory.”
The letter calls on each of the candidates to use these next precious few weeks to set out practical measures for how they will help people now, and how they will ensure the UK has lower energy bills in future.
- The campaign is pushing for practical solutions that have the public’s support, and which are ready-to-roll out now, including:
- Providing financial support to people who without urgent action will be on the front-line of poverty this winter
- Upgrading and insulating homes across the UK to bring down bills and prevent energy waste
- Rapidly expanding clean energy, which is now four times cheaper than gas, to urgently lower energy bills
- Stopping drilling new oil and gas fields so that we can escape our dependence on volatile fossil fuels.
The letter to candidates with a full list of signatories is online at https://www.endfuelpoverty.org.uk/leading-charities-urge-pm-hopefuls-to-end-fuel-poverty/