Pressure is mounting on the government to announce more support for people facing soaring energy bills, after analysis by the Liberal Democrats found almost 130,000 families in cabinet ministers’ seats are living in fuel poverty.
The party’s leader Ed Davey said the figures showed cabinet ministers are “turning a blind eye” to families in their own backyard who are struggling to pay soaring heating bills.
The research shows that several cabinet members including the Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss have constituencies with an above-average proportion of households that are fuel poor.
In Liz Truss’ seat of South West Norfolk, 7,896 families are fuel poor or 17% of households in the constituency, the highest number out of any cabinet minister after Stephen Barclay. Rishi Sunak’s seat of Richmond in Yorkshire has 7,037 families in fuel poverty or 14.9% of households. This compares to an average 13.4% of households or 3.2 million living in fuel poverty across the country.
In Boris Johnson’s own seat of Uxbridge and South Ruislip, 5,392 families are currently fuel poor. The analysis is based on official figures published by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).
In the Dominic Raab’s seat of Esher and Walton there are 2,590 families living in fuel poverty. He has a slim majority of just over 2,700 over the Liberal Democrats, and is under growing pressure following the party’s recent by-election successes in North Shropshire and Chesham and Amersham.
Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said: “Cabinet ministers are turning a blind eye to families in their own backyard struggling with soaring heating bills.
“There is a growing revolt in the Conservative heartlands against Boris Johnson’s government, and their failure to help people with the cost of living crisis is only making it worse.
“We need an urgent package of support now to help people cope with the cost of living crisis. That should include Liberal Democrat calls for a Robin Hood tax on oil and gas firms seeing record profits, raising enough cash to give over seven million households £300 off their heating bills this year.”