Labour has demanded that parliament be recalled early from summer recess to tackle the energy crisis.
In separate letters sent to Boris Johnson and leadership contenders Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak, the shadow leader and MP for Bristol West, Thangam Debbonaire has called for parliament to return on August 22nd so energy bills can be frozen before the announcement of a new energy price cap.
Experts expect the energy price cap to hit £3,582 in October; by comparison the average bill was £1,400 a year in October 2021.
The new price cap is officially set to be announced on August 26th, so recalling parliament beforehand would give government a chance to freeze the cap at its current level and pass legislation to intervene in other ways.
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Debbonaire’s letter to Boris Johnson reiterates the urgency of this crisis and calls on him to act with urgency.
“Across Britain, people are having to make unthinkable choices about how to pay their bills, causing endless worry for households and businesses,” she wrote.
“That is why I am writing to you today 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.”
“We cannot wait to act.”
Labour has previously said the announcement of the updated cap was a “crucial deadline” for the government.
Last week the party set out a plan detailing exactly what they would do, including freezing the price cap until April 2023 and generating profit from windfall taxes.
Earlier this week, Rishi Sunak rejected Labour’s plan telling ITV’s This Morning that a freeze in bills was a “very blunt instrument” and provides “a lot of support for people who don’t need it”.
Liz Truss also dismissed the opposition’s plan, describing it as a “sticking plaster”.
“What’s not right is throwing money at the problem without dealing with the root cause,” she said.
But shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves claims that Truss’s current plan would see those struggling the most in the UK receive just £1 a week when their costs will rise by an estimated £57.
Truss says she will tackle the energy crisis by reversing the national Insurance increase, suspending the green levy part of energy bills and cancelling a planned rise in corporation tax.
Sunak sees getting control of inflation as a priority and has promised to reduce VAT on domestic energy bills from 5% to zero. He also plans to cut 3p off income tax by late 2029.