A Plaid Cymru MS has called on the Welsh Government to reveal their plans for alleviating fuel poverty this winter.
Peredur Owen Griffiths, who represents the South Wales East region, wrote to the Minister for Social Justice after reports emerged of an anticipated hike in the cost of energy.
Ofgem recently reported that energy bills for 15 million households across the UK will increase by at least £139 this winter. This will mean average prices for customers paying by direct debit will jump to £1,277. For pre-payment customers the increase is higher again – it is predicted that their average prices will increase by £153 to £1,309.
In a letter to the Minister, Peredur wrote: ‘I am hugely concerned about the impact this will have on already strained household budgets and high poverty rates in many of the communities I represent in South Wales East.
‘The changes will hit those with the least hardest and, given my portfolio includes ‘older people,’ I am mindful of the effect this will have on our pensioners in Wales. In short, this wholesale price will mean more and more people will be choosing between food or fuel – a situation that is unacceptable and should be challenged.
‘Given we will soon be seeing an end to the Job Retention Scheme and a cut to the Universal Credit uplift, it is no wonder that the Citizens’ Advice Bureau has warned of a ‘perfect storm’ for families this autumn.
‘Given your Social Justice portfolio covers fuel poverty, I would like to know what you make of this situation and whether your government has any plans to mitigate these exorbitant price increases?
‘Do you also agree that we need parity with Scotland in terms of the devolution of the administration of the welfare system so we can devise a more compassionate approach to people in need which will prevent more families being plunged into poverty?’
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