Gas and electricity bills have gone up £300 for the average household since the General Election. There are 43,829 households in Sittingbourne and Sheppey and a simple calculation shows we are paying the energy companies over £13 million more than we were in 2009.
That is £13 million taken out of household incomes at a time when we are facing the worst cost of living crisis in living memory. For 39 of the last 40 months that David Cameron has been in Downing Street, prices have risen faster than wages. The stark choices that are being made are recounted on the doorstep as team Labour talks to residents; heating one room or one household paying the bill for another are some of the ways we are being forced to tackle this crisis.
Ed Miliband has pledged that Labour will freeze prices for households and for businesses until the start of 2017 if Labour wins the next election. This will save a typical household £120 and an average business £1,800. We will then break up the big energy companies hold on the market so that we can all get a fair deal. We will do this by creating a new Regulator with the authority to hold the market and the energy companies to account.
The cost of living crisis we are up against is being exacerbated by David Cameron’s coalition Government which has failed to tackle rip-off bills which include the big six energy suppliers. This has meant that many of us are worried about paying our bills. People shouldn’t have to make the choice between putting food on the table and turning on the heating. Frankly I don’t think it is right to stand aside and let the market control our lives in this way. We can do something about this and use Government to intervene on behalf of many and not just a privileged few.
When the price of energy increases energy companies pass this on but when it drops consumers don’t see their bills fall. Green taxes are blamed for keeping prices high, but this is not true. It is becoming clear that only around 10% of the so called green taxes are actually being spent on improving energy efficiency at home, to reduce energy consumption. It is also becoming clear that over the last three years the capital investment into our power infrastructure made by the big six has dropped by over 50%. The question on all our lips is where has the rest gone, where has our £13 million gone?
We need help now and we are calling on David Cameron to freeze our bills and not wait for 2015. I’m asking us all to show our anger and frustration and sign our petition today so that the voices of Sittingbourne and Sheppey are heard loud and clear in Downing Street.
You can sign the petition on Saturday the 9th of November, when team Labour will be out in both Sittingbourne and Sheppey town centres or click here to sign the petition online.