Saturday, July 13, 2024

Energy bills remain high despite today’s cap cut – the Tories’ cost of living crisis has been devastating, says Usdaw

ENERGY bills remain high despite today’s cap cut – the Tories’ cost of living crisis has been devastating, says Usdaw.

Retail trade union Usdaw looks forward to a Labour Government that will tackle high energy bills, after the Tories’ cost of living crisis severely impacted low-paid workers for three years. Inflation first went above the target rate in May 2021 and peaked in double figures for six months. RPI inflation since the last election stands at 31%, yet average incomes have risen by less than 25%.

Today the cap on unit prices of household energy dips by 7% but remains over 36% higher than at the last general election. The typical household, on a dual-fuel direct debit, will pay £1,568 in energy bills from today. Many could pay more depending on usage.

An Usdaw survey of 6,689 key workers in the retail, pharmaceutical, funeral care, warehouse and distribution sectors, conducted last month, found that:
· Nearly three-quarters feel worse off than they were at the last general election in 2019.
· 72% have struggled to pay energy bills, with a quarter of those struggling every month.
· 62% have taken out loans to pay everyday bills, and 45% of them are struggling to keep up with repayments.

Paddy Lillis – Usdaw general secretary says: “While household energy costs are slowly coming down, they’re still 36% higher than at the last election and most people have not had an equivalent pay rise in that period, meaning that inflation has devalued incomes. Many voters will be asking themselves at this election if they are better off than at the last election; the evidence is clear that they are not.

“Short-term government support with ongoing cost of living pressures was not enough and has now been discontinued. The Tories have failed to deliver lasting solutions for the low-paid, with only short-term sticking plasters, leaving them exposed in a three-year cost of living crisis.

“In stark contrast, Labour has a plan for a new publicly owned energy company, Great British Energy, that will invest in homegrown clean energy to boost energy independence and cut bills for good. Labour will also deliver the new deal for working people that Usdaw has long campaigned for, which will provide much-needed employment rights to end poverty pay and insecure work.

“Our members and all workers need Labour in government to deliver the change
they so desperately need. They have the opportunity to make that happen by voting Labour on Thursday 4 July.”

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