Shabana has written to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy regarding the rising cost energy bills.
The letter was promoted by correspondence from several constituents struggling to pay their gas and electricity bills and those affected by the collapse of smaller energy firms.
The price increases come as the Government scraps the £20 per week Universal Credit uplift, which was a lifeline for many affected by the rising cost of living.
In her letter to Kwasi Kwarteng MP, Shabana asks for urgent action to tackle rising prices, above and beyond the Winter Hardship Fund.
You can read the letter in full below.
Letter to the Secretary of State
Dear Secretary of State
I have recently been contacted by constituents who are deeply concerned about the affordability of energy prices this winter.
As you will know, my constituents are among hundreds of thousands across the country who have been forced onto more expensive tariffs after the collapse of their own suppliers.
Figures compiled by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation have highlighted Birmingham Ladywood as having the joint second highest number of families in the country affected by the Government’s recent Universal Credit cut. Combined with the steep rise in energy prices, many constituents are worried about having to choose between heating their homes and shopping for food.
My constituents have called for urgent action on the necessary scale to support people facing this decision. The government’s ‘winter hardship fund’ is likely to be far from sufficient given the sheer number of people affected.
They have also asked what action is being taken to ensure that customers who were able to access the Warm Home Discount with their former supplier will be able to do so with their new supplier this winter. Customers are currently being told to apply with their new supplier once their account has been transferred. However, the Warm Home Discount is in many cases granted on a first-come, first-serve basis, and transferring accounts can take over two weeks. Therefore, those who have had to change suppliers due to circumstances outside of their control are at a significant disadvantage this winter.
Thank you for looking into these matters. I look forward to hearing from you.
Shabana Mahmood MP