A Conservative county council leader has demanded more government support for struggling families and communities locally this autumn and winter.
A typical home’s gas and electricity bill will rise by 80 per cent from about £1,971 currently to £3,549 a year from next month, after the energy regulator Ofgem announced a hike to the price cap.
Experts and charities including the ‘Money Saving Expert’ Martin Lewis and Save the Children have warned this will put lives at risk – while the two Conservative Party leadership candidates are under pressure to outline more support.
The government announced in the spring all households will get a £400 rebate on energy bills, while low income and vulnerable households will receive an additional £650.
But energy prices have soared since that package was revealed, and from next month a typical household will see monthly energy bills of nearly £300 a month.
The latest 80 per cent rise in the energy cap also follows a 54 per cent hike in April, and a 12 per cent jump the previous October. And analysts at Cornwall Insight warn the price cap will climb even more, resulting in a typical annual household bill of £5,400 in January before hitting more than £6,600 in April.
Responding to the latest price cap rise, Hampshire County Council’s Tory leader Cllr Rob Humby has demanded more hardship funding for local authorities to support local people, who he says will be forced to make “some exceptionally difficult and troubling choices this winter”.
Cllr Humby said: “Local government is based in the heart of communities and has the infrastructure in place, working alongside district and borough council partners, as well as the local community and voluntary sector, to ensure assistance gets to those in need.
“Over the past months we have welcomed the additional national funding provided to support families and older people, for example, through distribution of the Household Support Grant and other funding streams, but much more is now needed.
“As we move into the colder months, and costs rise further, we will continue to work alongside our partners to further explore how we might continue to support local residents.
“However, I will also be pressing government personally, on behalf of the people of Hampshire, to make available to local authorities additional hardship funding so we can further assist the many people who will be making some exceptionally difficult and troubling choices this winter about how they spend their household budgets.”