Karin Smyth MP warns Government decisions could weaken energy infrastructure and lead to a fuel poverty crisis

Karin Smyth, MP for Bristol South, has warned that Government decisions to scrap the Universal Credit uplift and increase National Insurance at a time when energy prices are soaring could lead to a weaker energy infrastructure and a fuel poverty crisis. Working families will face a tough winter if support is not provided to help with higher energy prices.

Smyth is also pushing for more investment into greener energy, to decrease the UK’s reliance on fossil fuels and to make future supply of energy more reliable. This would mean less pressure on family finances and more green jobs.

Reports from the IPCC and the IEA are clear that the majority of oil and gas reserves must stay in the ground to keep global warming below 1.5C. For this to happen the Conservatives must provide a hard-edged timetable to end oil and gas exploration, and focus on stabilising energy infrastructure to make energy more affordable and secure for working people.

The Government’s failed Green Homes Grant scheme has led to consumers and installers paying the price, but instead of owning up to the mistake and fixing this crucial scheme, Ministers just scrapped it altogether. The UK desperately needs a home retrofit scheme to meet the country’s legal emissions targets, lower energy consumption and keep down household bills to support working families.

Karin Smyth, MP for Bristol South, said:

“The current energy crisis is deeply worrying for family finances, and with the cut to Universal Credit still set to come into effect at the end of the month, working families could have a really tough winter ahead of them.

“The Government must reconsider its decision to scrap the Universal Credit uplift in light of soaring energy prices, otherwise families will be forced to choose between heating and eating this winter. An extra £20 a week would make a huge difference to working families, but the Tories are too out of touch to realise this.

“It is also essential that the Government invest in alternative forms of energy and decrease the UK’s reliance on fossil fuels so we can strengthen our energy infrastructure, otherwise fuel poverty is going to become an issue for many more families in the future.”