Thompson calls for Westminster return and action to freeze energy bills

Thursday August 25th 2022


Written by Midlothian View Reporter, Luke Jackson

Midlothian MP Owen Thompson called for parliament to be immediately recalled and emergency measures brought in to support households and small businesses struggling with unsustainable bills.

The Midlothian MP said a vote was needed at Westminster to bring in a freeze on further rises in the energy price cap, together with measures such as scrapping VAT on fuel, doubling energy bill support to families and offering more financial assistance to small businesses.

The move comes as Citizens Advice Scotland reports a significant growth in demand for cost-of-living advice within areas such as utilities and food insecurity. Established businesses have also warned they are at real risk this winter without support to tackle energy costs, putting jobs on the line and damaging economic recovery.

Mr Thompson has urged parliament to return without delay to enable a vote on blocking the energy price cap rise and for an emergency budget to put essential support in place.

Mr Thompson said

“Action to tackle the cost-of-living crisis can’t wait for a convenient time in the political calendar – parliament has to get back now and government has to start governing again. There is a growing pandemic of poverty up and down the country as bills skyrocket out of control. An emergency budget is needed now, not a few months down the line.

“The crisis might be inconvenient for the Tory leadership contest and Boris Johnson’s holiday schedule, but it is shamefully negligent that the UK Government continues to do nothing while households are being hammered with soaring costs. We urgently need to freeze further rises in energy bills and begin to get inflation under control.

“I’ve heard from Midlothian businesses which barely survived lockdown, now in despair as their recovery is put at risk by obscenely expensive energy costs, yet this time there is no government support to get them through it. There is barely even a functioning government at Westminster.

“It beggars belief that the UK Government is sitting on its hands while the cost-of-living emergency spirals out of control. People cannot wait while a tiny minority of wealthy Tory members decide our next Prime Minister. We need the government to act now – using their reserved powers over energy and the economy to fix the mess they have made – or get out the way so the people of Scotland can make decisions for themselves.

“Instead, Boris Johnson is finishing his Premiership true to the style he governed – ducking the hard work and enjoying the perks. I urge him to finally show some leadership and take action to get this crisis under control.”

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