Labour calls for return of parliament ahead of energy price cap rise

Politics

Labour is calling for parliament to be recalled ahead of the energy price cap rise.

The opposition party has written to Boris Johnson, as well as Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss, to ask for MPs to return to Westminster on Monday in a bid to propose their plan to freeze the cap.

The price cap is set to go up at the end of this month, while parliament does not return from its summer break until 5 September.

An estimate from Cornwall Insight predicts the price cap will rise to more than £3,500, from just under £2,000, and will likely stay that way for a year. Inflation rose to 10.1% this week.

The letter, written by shadow leader of the House Thangam Debbonaire, says the country faces an “urgent choice”.

Ms Debbonaire said: “Across Britain, people are having to make unthinkable choices about how to pay their bills, causing endless worry for households and businesses.

“That is why I am writing to you to urge you to bring parliament back early on Monday 22 August so that we can freeze the energy price cap now ahead of winter.

More on Cost Of Living

“In seven days, Ofgem will announce the rise of the energy price cap.

“Against the backdrop of a rise in inflation to 10.1%, this won’t just send households into a further spiral of worry, pushing them to cut back even further ahead of the winter. But it will create another shock for our economy. With businesses and households on the brink, we cannot wait to act.

“Families deserve a government that is on their side, and is ready to take the action needed now to meet the scale of this national emergency. I urge you to adopt Labour‘s plan and take action to freeze the price cap now.”

Labour’s plan to freeze the price cap for six months is estimated to cost around £30bn.

None of Mr Johnson, Ms Truss or Mr Sunak have shown any inclination they would support Labour’s measure.

Read more:
Government ‘asleep at the wheel’ as Ofgem director quits
Energy bill direct debits rise before next price cap increase

Mr Johnson has endeavoured to not make any big spending pledges before he leaves office.

A government spokesperson, responding to Labour’s call, said: “The government is continuing to focus on delivering for the public.

“While fiscal decisions for the coming months will be for the next prime minister, we are continuing to support people directly now with financial support as part of our existing £37bn package which will continue to arrive in the weeks and months ahead to help people with the rising cost of living.

“This includes the second £324 instalment of the cost of living payment for vulnerable households which will go into people’s bank accounts in autumn, extra help for pensioners and those with disabilities, and the £400 energy bills discount for all households this winter.”

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