Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Rural areas set to be hit hardest by energy bill price hike, including Chancellor’s own seat

Rural areas in England and Wales will be hit hardest by the expected rise in energy bills in April, new research by the Liberal Democrats has revealed. 

New analysis of ONS data by the party shows median bills are expected to rise by an average of £598, while many largely rural areas will see increases of £700 or more.

Of the 20 local authorities with the highest increase in bills, 16 are only represented by Conservative MPs. This includes the Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s area of Richmondshire, where people face an average rise of £737, the fourth highest rise in England. People living on the Scilly Isles face average increases of £968, higher than anywhere in the country.

It comes as energy bills are expected to rise to unprecedented levels in April, with experts warning the new energy price cap is expected to be around £1,865. Bills are then expected to rise above £2,000 when the price cap is revised again in the Autumn.

Leader of the Liberal Democrats and Former Energy Secretary Ed Davey said:

“It is hardly surprising that it is people in rural areas who are facing the biggest rises in bills this year. This is yet more evidence that the Conservatives are taking our rural communities for granted.

“Families are facing an energy bill nightmare, while the government is asleep at the wheel. They’ve failed to do anything to protect vulnerable people from this cost of living crisis.

“Liberal Democrats are calling for urgent support for families through the doubling and expansion of the Warm Home Discount Scheme and the doubling of the Winter Fuel Payments, to protect vulnerable people this winter. This would be funded by a one-off ‘Robin Hood Tax’ on the super- profits of gas and oil companies and traders who are raking it in hand over fist.”

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