Parts of Wales set to be the worst hit in the UK by crippling energy price hike
Parts of Wales are set to be the hardest hit in the UK as a result of crippling energy price hikes announced by Ofgem today.
The UK energy regulator has announced a 54% increase in the energy price cap, with average bills reaching nearly £2,000. Average energy bills per household are expected to rise by £970 in some areas, according to analysis of ONS data by the party.
The worst-hit local authority areas include Ceredigion (£972), Gwynedd (£904), Carmarthenshire (£853) and Powys (£848), according to ONS figures.
Households will receive a one-off £200 discount from their energy bills this year, and households in England, which are in council tax bands A-D, will also receive a £150 rebate. The Welsh Government will receive £175 million in Barnett consequentials from the announcement.
But Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds, whose mid-Wales constituency covers all of the worst-hit areas, said that the country now faced an “absolute energy bill nightmare” with “some of the worst affected areas being Conservative held seats”.
She called for a ‘Robin Hood’ tax on the profits of oil and gas companies.
“But instead of taxing the record profits of oil and gas companies to fund a package of support, Rishi Sunak is simply spreading the pain for families over the coming years,” she said.
“These plans are playing Russian roulette with taxpayers’ money, gambling that energy prices will fall instead of investing in keeping people’s bills down.”
She called for a ‘Robin Hood’ tax on the profits of oil and gas companies. We would scrap the Conservatives’ unfair tax hike, offer support to the most vulnerable and insulate more homes to slash their energy bills in the long term.
“Sadly, it seems many Welsh Conservative MPs are more interested in protecting the large profits of global oil and gas companies rather than providing support to families struggling to meet ends met up and down the country.”
|County||Increase to energy bills in April 2022|
|Isle of Anglesey||£817|
|Rhondda Cynon Taf||£740|
|Neath Port Talbot||£716|
|Vale of Glamorgan||£668|
Plaid Cymru’s Treasury spokesperson Ben Lake MP described the Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s measures as a “sticking plaster on the growing societal wound that is fuel poverty”.
He criticised the measures for “pushing the price rise on low-income households down the road” and urged the Government to “re-evaluate its decisions” saying that tax hikes and welfare cuts are “simply not what households or businesses need right now”.
Ben Lake MP highlighted that 275,000 homes in Wales, nearly a fifth of all households, were not connected to the gas grid in 2020. In rural areas like Ceredigion, that figure rises to over 80 per cent. The Ceredigion MP secured confirmation that the rebate would apply to electricity bills.
“This is long overdue support but is only a sticking plaster on the growing societal wound that is fuel poverty,” he said. “The problems facing Welsh households have been long-standing and the £200 pound relief-now-pay later rebate merely pushes the price rise on low-income households down the road.
“The Government needs to re-evaluate its decisions – tax hikes and welfare cuts are simply not what households or businesses need right now. I urge the Chancellor to increase Universal Credit now and to match Plaid Cymru’s funding calls to end fuel poverty this decade in Wales.
“It is now for the Welsh Government to get funding out of the door and to households, including those unconnected to the mains gas grid. But we need to do more and implement improved household energy efficiency measures to reduce bills, benefit our climate and give us long-term energy security.”
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