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Torridge and West Devon Liberal Democrats

Fuel rises will mean £736 increase for Torridge households

February 15, 2022 2:24 PM

Torridge residents will pay on average, £736 more per year for heating, as a result of the energy price cap rise of 54%, according to analysis by the Liberal Democrats.

Lib Dem Chair Stephen Middleton has hit out at Government proposals to deal with soaring energy bills and urged Rishi Sunak to rethink the planned National Insurance tax increases which will pile further pressure on household budgets:

'Energy bills are going through the roof, forcing families in our community to choose between eating and heating. Meanwhile, broadband bills are set to rise by 9.3% with inflation at its highest rate in almost thirty years. But all the Conservatives are doing is clobbering people with an unfair tax hike and spreading the pain over the coming years.'

The Liberal Democrats have calculated that energy bills for homeowners in Torridge will rise by an estimated £736 per household in April. In West Devon, the increase is even higher, at £809 per household. They have set out a 'cost-of-living rescue plan' that would save thousands of local families nearly £1,000 this year.

The cost-of-living rescue package being proposed by Liberal Democrats includes taking £300 off the heating bills of vulnerable and low-income households by doubling the Warm Home Discount and expanding it to all those on Universal Credit and Pension Credit. This would be funded through a one-off Robin Hood tax on the record profits of oil and gas producers and traders. The party would also scrap the Conservatives' planned tax rises - the National Insurance tax hike and the freezing of Income Tax thresholds being introduced in April - and ensure low-income families can access cheaper broadband deals.

As many as 5,701 households in Torridge and West Devon would stand to benefit from the full package of support, saving them up to £975 each a year. Nearly 24,000 households would save up to £420 thanks to the scrapping of the National Insurance hike and the Stealth Tax on the income tax personal allowance. 2,729 poorer pensioners would receive the expanded Warm Home Discount while 10,201 struggling families would gain access to cheaper broadband deals, helping them cope with the cost-of-living crisis.

In total, the package represents savings of £15,356,616 across Torridge and West Devon for 36,829 households feeling the pinch.

Mr Middleton, who is Chair of the Torridge and West Devon Liberal Democrats, said:

'We are fighting for a fair deal for people in our community who are being let down by a Conservative Government that is taking them for granted.'

For a full breakdown by constituency, please see here.

Energy bills source:

Energy efficiency of Housing, England and Wales, local authority districts - Office for National Statistics - March 2021