Welsh Secretary promises ‘more action’ next week to deal with ‘very serious’ energy crisis
Welsh Secretary Robert Buckland has promised “more action” next week to deal with the “very serious” energy crisis.
He said that with the new Prime Minister set to be announced on Monday, 5th September there would be further support on top of the investment already promised.
The promise came in his weekly column in the Swindon Advertiser, where he is the MP.
His comments come after the Welsh Government called for more action yesterday, with Wales’ Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething, saying that the energy crisis would do “significant harm” to the Welsh economy unless the UK Government does act.
Robert Buckland said: “Many local residents have been in touch with me to share their concerns and worries about the current energy issues.
“The Government is currently working on the necessary measures to be taken to build on the £37b support package they are already rolling out, and, with a new PM in place next week, we will see more action being taken to deal with a very serious situation that faces all of us.”
Ofgem has confirmed an 80.06% rise in the energy price cap, sending 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 October 1, 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.
Yesterday the outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson said a “huge amount” of help for households had already been promised and his successor – either Liz Truss or Rishi Sunak – would provide further support.
Wales’ First Minister Mark Drakeford has already criticised the UK Government’s “failure to address this crisis”, calling for an emergency budget to raise windfall taxes on energy companies’ profits and freeze prices.
Today, Vaughan Gething is convening an urgent meeting with Welsh business representatives to hear directly about the pressures they are facing.
“The cost of living crisis engulfing the UK is having a significant impact on families across the country,” the minister said.
“We’re also facing a cost of business crisis, with businesses across Wales facing increasingly unbearable pressures because of soaring energy and fuel bills.
“Our businesses are the lifeblood of our communities. They provide the jobs people rely on for their livelihoods. As Wales’ Economy Minister, my immediate priority is to do what I can to protect our economy and the people who work within it.
“That’s why I am demanding that the UK Government steps up and takes immediate action now, by using the powers only they have at their disposal to intervene in this crisis.
“They must bring forward measures to reduce inflation and provide the significant additional help people and businesses need.
“Unless they act now, they risk inflicting significant harm on the Welsh economy. This cannot be allowed to happen.”
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