Energy bills for homeowners in Shetland are forecast to soar by an estimated £1,528 per household in April, and in Orkney by £1,285, according to analysis by the Liberal Democrats after Ofgem announced a 54% hike in the energy price cap in April. Meanwhile, broadband bills are set to rise by 9.3% with inflation at its highest rate in almost thirty years.
A cost of living rescue package proposed by the Liberal Democrats would include taking £300 off struggling families’ heating bills by doubling and expanding the Warm Home Discount. The party would also scrap the planned National Insurance tax hike being introduced by the Conservatives in April, and ensure low-income families can access cheaper broadband deals, with further measures in total saving households up to £975 each a year to help cope with the cost of living crisis.
Meanwhile Advice Direct Scotland has launched a £3million support fund to help Scots struggling with their energy bills amid a growing cost-of-living crisis, to help prevent households falling into fuel poverty.
Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael said:
“Energy bills are going through the roof, even as the cost of living more generally is rising quickly. Now is the time for the government to scrap its unreasonable tax hikes and restore and expand support for struggling families.
“The Liberal Democrat cost of living plan would take up to £1,000 off the bills of struggling families by scrapping April’s National Insurance tax hike, expanding support to the most vulnerable, and insulating homes to slash energy bills in the long term.
“We need broad action nationally and we need greater consideration for differentiated measures for areas with high fuel poverty like the isles. The government has let this slide for too long – now we need a rapid catch up plan, and no half-measures.”