– Ed Davey sets out rescue package of measures to save typical struggling family almost £1,000 this year
– Lib Dems call for summit in Number 10 with top utility companies to thrash out solutions to cost of living crisis
– Boris Johnson told to stop obsessing with saving his own career and focus on cutting bills for struggling families
Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey has called on Boris Johnson to hold a cost of living summit in Downing Street with the bosses of top energy and other utility companies.
The Liberal Democrats have warned that the Prime Minister is “missing in action,” and too busy trying to save his own skin rather than working to help struggling families.
The proposed summit would require the heads of the top five utility companies in the energy, telecoms and water sectors to come to Downing Street and thrash out solutions to the cost of living crisis. It would also include representatives of the public, so that both ministers and company bosses hear from people struggling to afford their household bills.
Energy bills are forecast to soar by 50% in April or an estimated £600 per household, forcing families to choose between eating and heating, while broadband bills are set to rise by 9.3%.
The Liberal Democrats are setting out a rescue package of measures to help families cope with the cost of living crisis, taking around £975 off the bills of lower income households.
Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey MP said: “Boris Johnson is missing in action, more concerned with saving his own political career than helping families struggling to pay the bills.
“Bills are going through the roof but all the Conservatives are doing is clobbering families with an unfair tax hike.
“Instead of holding parties in Number 10, Boris Johnson should bring in the bosses of top utility companies to thrash out solutions to the cost of living crisis.
“People are fed up with playing by the rules and getting trampled over. Our plans would cut bills today by almost £1,000 for millions of families struggling to get by. No ifs, no buts, just more money in your pocket straight away.”
The cost of living rescue package being proposed by the Liberal Democrats includes:
- Cutting household energy bills: Taking £300 off the heating bills of around 7.5 million vulnerable and low income households, by doubling the Warm Homes Discount and expanding it to all those on Universal Credit. This would be funded through a one-off Robin Hood tax on the record profits of oil and gas producers and traders including Russia’s Gazprom based in London.
- Reversing planned tax rises: Scrapping the National Insurance tax hike and the freezing of Income Tax thresholds in April. This would save a working family on Universal Credit an estimated £403 this year.
- Offering cheaper broadband: Forcing broadband providers to offer vulnerable customers cheaper deals of around £15 a month through social tariffs, benefitting up to eight million households and saving them up to £270 each this year. These tariffs are currently offered by some broadband providers on a voluntary basis, but the government could order the regulator Ofcom to make them mandatory by using a change in the law introduced in 2020.