Welsh MP accuses Liz Truss of ‘lying through her teeth’ over £2,500 energy bills
A Welsh MP has accused Liz Truss of “lying through her teeth” about £2,500 average energy bills.
Plaid Cymru’s Westminster leader, Liz Saville Roberts, said that the Prime Minister had repeatedly given the impression that no one would be paying more than £2,500 when it was in fact the average that people would pay.
The UK Government’s plan only caps the cost per unit that households pay, with actual bills still determined by how much energy is consumed.
Although she initially described the figure as being for a “typical” bill during an interview with BBC Radio Nottingham, Liz Truss went on to say: “The biggest part of the package we announced is the support on energy bills, making sure that people across this country are not facing energy bills of more than £2,500 and that businesses can get through this winter.”
On BBC Radio Kent, she stated: “We have taken action by the Government stepping in and making sure that nobody is paying fuel bills of more than £2,500.”
She repeated the claim on BBC Radio Leeds, saying: “The action we’ve taken on energy bills will mean that Leeds and other people in West Yorkshire aren’t going to be facing energy bills of £6,000 which is what was forecast, they’re going to be, through the energy price guarantee, the maximum will be £2,500.”
Plaid Cymru said they had calculated that 44.1% of homes in Wales will pay over £2,500 per year on energy bills.
The UK Government’s figures show that detached and semi-detached properties will on average pay £3,300 and £2,650, respectively, under the price guarantee, they said.
25.1% of homes in Wales are semi-detached, and 19% are detached, meaning that 44.1% of homes will pay over £2,500 for energy bills under the price guarantee. This is higher than in England, where it is estimated that 39.6% of homes will pay over the average sum.
“Liz Truss is lying through her teeth on energy bills,” Liz Saville Roberts MP said. “She claims that ‘nobody’ would pay fuel bills of more than £2,500 – but the reality is that 44.1% of Welsh homes are expected to be paying over that amount.
“People are facing an incredibly challenging winter. They need correct, reliable information to be able to make informed choices about their spending. The Prime Minister and Chancellor are, however, so lost in their own warped ideology that they no longer distinguish between fact and fiction.
“Let’s cut through the spin. We needed a real energy price cap – but the UK Government’s Energy Price Guarantee is not it. Plaid Cymru called for energy prices to be capped at pre-April levels.
“It’s time for Liz Truss to recognise her plan still leaves people struggling, and to use a new windfall tax to bring prices back down to the levels they were before April.”
Fact-checking charity Full Fact said it wrote to Ms Truss on Wednesday to stress that “it is vital the public have accurate information about energy bills in the context of the ongoing cost-of-living crisis”.
Full Fact chief executive Will Moy said: “We wrote to the Prime Minister about getting this wrong only yesterday. The Government’s energy plans will affect every household in Britain this winter. And yet Liz Truss has repeatedly misled listeners this morning.
“She must now publicly correct her mistake to make sure people are not misled about their energy prices and hit with unexpected and unaffordable energy bills this winter.”
In a tweet on Thursday, MoneySavingExpert.com founder Martin Lewis wrote: “The reason it is so important NOT to communicate that there is a £2,500 cap (is) it risks some people, possibly vulnerable elderly people, thinking they can keep the heat on max all winter, and they won’t pay more than a certain amount.”
TV presenter Susanna Reid also tweeted: “I was with a photographer who rang his energy company in despair as his bill was going from £3k to £5k. ‘I asked why it wasn’t capped at £2500 like we’d been told’. This is why the govt trotting out the £2500 figure is misleading. The cap is per UNIT of energy NOT per bill.”
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