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Former Senedd member calls for campaign of civil disobedience if energy price hikes are not reversed

26 Aug 2022 3 minute read
Bethan Sayed. Photo Plaid Cymru

A former Senedd Member has issued a rallying cry for people to protest outside the offices of Ofgem in Cardiff on Friday and called for a campaign of civil disobedience if hikes to energy bills are not reversed by October 1st.

Earlier today Ofgem announced an 80.06% rise in the energy price cap, increasing the average household’s yearly bill from £1,971 to £3,549 from October.

The cap will come into effect for around 24 million households in Wales, England and Scotland on default energy tariffs on 1 October, and will remain in place until December 31, when it will be adjusted again.

The 4.5 million pre-payment meter customers, who are often the most vulnerable and already in fuel poverty, will see an even more punishing increase, with their average annual bill set to go up to £3,608.

The demonstration backed by community groups and trade unions will take place today (Friday 26 August) at 6 pm outside the UK Government Building on Central Square that houses the Cardiff offices of Ofgem.

It is one of several protests taking place outside Ofgem offices including in London and Glasgow.

Humanitarian crisis

Bethan Sayed, who represented the South Wales West Region for Plaid Cymru as a Member of the Senedd from 2007-2021 said: “The Tories are plunging the UK into a humanitarian crisis.

“How could it happen that one of the richest society’s on earth cannot secure basic necessities for the most vulnerable?

“How could it be allowed to happen that almost seventy percent of Welsh households will suffer fuel poverty by the New Year?

“A social emergency of this scale is entirely a political choice of the UK government, not a practical necessity.

“Many governments are taking more action than ours to protect citizens, but the Tories would rather allow private companies to rake in record profits while ripping us off.”

Echoing the warnings of consumer champion Martin Lewis that “people will die this winter because of the energy price cap rise,” Ms Sayed added:  “According to the National Energy Action 11,400 winter deaths are already caused by cold weather each year.

“If these energy bill rises are not stopped many homes in Wales will become ice-boxes this winter and people will freeze to death.”

The former politician also predicted serious social unrest in the winter if the crisis isn’t addressed by the UK Government: “I want to stand shoulder to shoulder with the people in Wales who want to fight this filthy rotten system that makes the working class pay for crises that we didn’t create, and that makes the poorest pay for the rotten decisions made by those at the top of society.”

“If Ofgem, the energy companies and the government don’t act, if they don’t stop the energy bill hike on 1 October, then we will be escalating our campaign and building for mass civil disobedience. Expect serious unrest. Join in.”

Flat out

Responding to this morning’s energy cap hike, Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi said the increase would cause “stress and anxiety” for people, but that the UK Government was working “flat out” to develop more options to support households.

“While Putin is driving up energy prices in revenge for our support of Ukraine’s brave struggle for freedom, I am working flat out to develop options for further support,” he said.

“This will mean the incoming prime minister can hit the ground running and deliver support to those who need it most, as soon as possible.”


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Hogyn y Gogledd
Hogyn y Gogledd
1 month ago

“the incoming prime minister can hit the ground running”

The outgoing holder of that office has been drawing a salary for a couple of months while holidaying.

The whole bunch of them are criminals and need to be arraigned in court for their crimes.

The Original Mark
The Original Mark
1 month ago

And in between his holidays he’s recently pledged another £52million to Ukraine, although he can’t get involved in the ongoing crisis in the UK.

hdavies15
hdavies15
1 month ago

To the barricades ! – after you Bethan.

George
George
1 month ago

deleted

Last edited 1 month ago by George
One of the two witnesses
One of the two witnesses
1 month ago

You guys crack on with the Civil disobedience. I’m staying in reserve ready for the revolution. They’ll never see me coming.

DAI Ponty
DAI Ponty
1 month ago

I think there will be civil disobedience riots and basicly an uprising when people cannot afford to eat or heat their homes people will start to die and the lizard truss is the most right wing you can think of this will happen not just here in Wales but in every city town and village in the U K

One of the two witnesses
One of the two witnesses
1 month ago
Reply to  DAI Ponty

You have a higher opinion of the people of the Republic of Brexistan than I do. There is no unity in this island. Merely self interest and infighting. Society is split against itself. Group action will not occur

hdavies15
hdavies15
1 month ago

That is a precise analysis of where we’re at. Welsh and wider UK communities have been anaesthetised by the pursuit of material goals – their immediate satisfaction that leads to the craving for more. Poorer people, who so often drove and led uprisings, have now been dragged into this way of thinking and behaving. It will take a lot more pain before people start taking real rebellious actions.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago
Reply to  hdavies15

I said from day two that Fat Shanks was a serial killer once removed, it seems he has an accomplice…

Ivor Schilling
Ivor Schilling
1 month ago
Reply to  hdavies15

Bethan’s stance is a welcome first step though, no?

We could do with a better organised protest in coming weeks though, and with literally all of Plaid Cymru coming out in support, all politicians, councillors, even the rally of the paid up membership themselves. Same goes for Yes Cymru.

One of the two witnesses
One of the two witnesses
1 month ago
Reply to  Ivor Schilling

And that would be great. Marching peacefully with flags is great and all and builds a sense of community and momentum in the movement. But what does it achieve? The anti Brexit marches were 1 million+ strong. They were good natured and peaceful. The outcome? Nada. Zilch. Nothing. The government and the far right press (especially the hateful Torygraph) lied about the numbers, claimed everyone was Marxists, told everyone to suck it up, and continued to machine gun the feet of DUK. Anti-Brexit was the largest peaceful demonstration movement the DUK has ever seen. They were ignored. We are getting… Read more »

Cymro Cymraeg
Cymro Cymraeg
1 month ago

The largest act of disobedience the Welsh and British can muster is in the shape of a few keyboard warriors who’ll type some ‘nasty words on social media, which will be deleted by the ‘social media police’ a few minutes later. Saved should have stayed in the Senedd where she could have achieved something! Never trust a politician.

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