by Greg Sproston, Traveller Movement policy Manager
Despite spending most of the recent leadership campaign downplaying the severity of the energy crisis, new Prime Minister announced a support package worth £116bn – dwarfing the cost of the Covid-19 furlough scheme – to support consumers being hammered by spiraling energy bills. The commitments made ease the pressure for millions of people in varying circumstances:
The support is welcome, and timely, but there is still much more for the Government to do. There is still no clarity on precisely what support will be offered to those without mains gas/electric, and details of the support available for business may not be announced until November.
And the inescapable reality is that a 24% rise in energy bills will still be an unfeasible increase for many on low incomes. The Government must consider a social tariff, a solidarity tax on the highest earners, and bringing forward benefit upratings, in order to shield the most marginalised groups from fluctuations in the market.
Over the coming weeks, the Traveller Movement will be publishing an energy saving fact sheet for members of Gypsy, Roma, and Traveller communities along with a policy briefing on the energy crisis.
In the meantime, the Government’s plans must be subject to proper scrutiny, and following the Queen’s state funeral it is vital that Parliament be recalled for an emergency budget and close consideration of the Government’s energy proposals.