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OPINION: 1 in 4 Cambridgeshire families face heating and eating crisis

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New analysis from East Cambridgeshire Labour, based on research from the National Institute for Economic and Social Research (NIESR), reveals the staggering impact of the cost of living crisis on families in East and South Cambridgeshire and Cambridge.

50,850 households – 1 in 4 – are expected to be unable to cover their planned energy and food bills from the post-tax income in the financial year 2023/24: 16,100 in South Cambridgeshire, 9,125 in East Cambridgeshire, 13,700 in Cambridge and 11,925 in Fenland.

NIESR expect middle income households to be £4,000 worse off thanks to the ongoing cost of living crisis. Labour is calling on the Government to bring in a proper windfall tax on energy giants to fund package of support for energy bills including new measure to pass on savings to households immediately, by stopping the energy price cap going up from April.

Britain has so much potential – but we are being held back by a failing government. One in four families this year face a choice between heating or eating – that is utterly hear-breaking and utterly unacceptable.

A Labour government wouldn’t just be just standing around waiting for something to turn up – we’d be taking decisive action to support families in places like South and East Cambridgeshire, Fenland and Cambridge.

That means a proper windfall tax on the outrageous profits of the energy giants to fund real help for families struggling with the cost of living crisis.

We would prevent the energy price cap from rising again in April, we’d help with insulation to bring down bills, and we’d put an end to the prepayment meter scandal.

Labour has a plan to get areas like our moving again, but this government hasn’t got a clue. After 13 years it’s time for a change – it’s time for a Labour government.

We project that 7 million UK households (1 in 4) will be unable to meet in full their planned energy and food bills from their post-tax income in 2023-24

https://www.niesr.ac.uk/publications/recession-avoided-prospects-remain-bleak?type=uk-economic-outlook

There are 64,400 households in South Cambridgeshire, 36,500 in East Cambridgeshire, 54,800 in Cambridge and 47,700 in Fenland.

So at the rate projected by NIESR, that’s the equivalent of 16,100 in South Cambridgeshire, 9,125 in East Cambridgeshire, 13,700 in Cambridge and 11,925 in Fenland expected to be unable to cover their planned energy and food bills from the post-tax income in the financial year 2023/24

https://drive.google.com/drive/u/0/folders/1d_Bdy_MkBAvRFi1Md9iFpniEusTeL7dx

Labour would be bringing in a proper one-off windfall tax on energy giants – something which the government still fail to do – and spending that on a package of support for energy bills including:

A new measure to pass on savings to households immediately, by stopping the energy price cap going up from April. Right now, government plans expose households to a major new spike in prices in April.

A new “insulation jump start” – a pot of funding that the government could use right now to supercharge home insulation across the country, saving families hundreds off their bills.

Ending the scandalous penalty imposed on prepayment meter customers, ensuring customers do not pay more than those paying by direct debit, alongside a 3 month moratorium on the forced installation of pre-payment meters.

The author Frank Danes is Cambridgeshire Labour Party cost of  living  spokesperson

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