Recall Parliament early to tackle skyrocketing energy bills, urges Labor Prime Minister | Cost of living crisis in the UK

Labor has called on Boris Johnson to recall parliament next week so the government can offer more help to struggling households ahead of the announcement of the new energy price cap.

The opposition has written to the prime minister and both Tory leadership candidates warning there is a “crucial deadline” for government action to tackle skyrocketing energy bills, after inflation topped 10% for the first time in 40 years.

Ofgem will announce the new level at which energy bills will be capped next Friday, with forecasts predicting a rise to £3,582, or 82% above the current cap.

Annual energy bills are expected to reach £4,500 a year from January and £5,456 from April, with warnings that households across the country face severe hardship without government intervention.

Labor this week unveiled a £29bn plan to freeze the rate at its current level of £1,971 for six months from October, which would save the average household £1,000, putting pressure on the next Prime Minister to follow suit.

Thangam Debbonaire, the shadow leader of the House of Commons, has now written to the Prime Minister, Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak, urging them to recall Parliament two weeks early and to freeze the price cap before winter.

“Across the UK, people are having to make unthinkable choices about how to pay their bills, causing endless worry for households and businesses,” she said.

“In seven days’ time, Ofgem will announce the increase in the energy price cap. Against the backdrop of a rise in inflation to 10.1%, this will not only send households into a further spiral of worry, pushing them to cut even further ahead of winter. But it will create another shock to our economy.

“With businesses and households on the brink, we can’t wait to act. Families deserve a government that is on their side, and is ready to take the necessary action now to address the scale of this national emergency.”

Earlier this month, Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey called on the government to announce an emergency budget to deal with the cost of living crisis. Ian Blackford, the SNP’s Westminster leader, has also called on the Prime Minister to bring back MPs before the end of the summer break.

Simon Francis of the End Fuel Poverty Coalition said: “The call for parliament to be recalled tops a week of chaos as Britain’s broken energy system begins to unravel.

“Ofgem now faces potential legal challenges to its decisions as charities stepped up warnings about the grim specter of older people dying cold and alone this winter.

“But while chaos reigns, the government remains silent on how it will help people stay warm this winter. A week of political focus on fuel poverty now could bring in the extra financial help needed and also lay the groundwork to tackle the problem in the long term term.”

A Government spokesperson said: “While fiscal decisions for the coming months will be for the next Prime Minister, we continue to support people directly now with financial support as part of our existing £37bn package, which will continue to arrive in the weeks and months ahead to help people with the rising cost of living.”

Labor also asked Liz Truss to urgently explain her exact involvement in the government’s decision to close a key gas storage facility that has left Britain with dwindling energy supplies.

The decision to close the Rough natural gas storage facility, taken in 2017 when she was chief secretary to the Treasury and responsible for accepting or rejecting major spending requests, weakened Britain’s energy security supply before the current crisis and has left ministers scrambling to reverse it. .

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