The SNP has said the Tory government is “punishing millions of families by refusing to cut energy bills” – and has called for an urgent U-turn ahead of the spring budget next month.
It comes as the UK government poured cold water over calls by Stephen Flynn MP to cut energy bills by at least twenty per cent from April.
The SNP Westminster Leader has challenged the Tory government to scrap its plans to raise the cost of the Energy Price Guarantee (EPG) from £2,500 to £3000 from April, and instead reduce the EPG by 20% to £2000.
With the wholesale price of gas falling by 59%, and energy companies reporting record profits, the SNP has challenged the Chancellor to use the “ample resources” he has to reduce energy bills by taxing share buy backs, expanding the windfall tax, scrapping non-dom tax status and passing the savings from falling wholesale prices on to households.
Commenting, SNP Economy spokesperson Stewart Hosie MP said:
“The Tory government is punishing millions of families by refusing to cut energy bills – despite having ample resources to do so.
“There must be an urgent U-turn – or households across Scotland and the UK will see the cost of living rise to completely unacceptable levels.
“Scotland is an energy rich country but, yet again, families are paying the price for Westminster failure.
“Make no mistake, if the Tories refuse to cut energy bills it will be a purely political choice – and it will show exactly why Scotland needs independence, so we can make better decisions.
“There is no excuse for not cutting bills.
“At a time when energy companies are making record profits, the UK government could easily reduce bills and raise billions by taxing share buy backs, expanding the windfall tax, or scrapping non-dom tax status.
“And that’s before factoring in the savings as the wholesale price of gas falls, which must be passed on to households.
“If Westminster had properly invested in Scotland’s massive renewable energy potential, instead of costing our economy billions with Brexit, Tory cuts and gross incompetence, this crisis wouldn’t be as bad as it is.
“Independence is the only way for Scotland to escape the damage of Westminster control and build a stronger, prosperous and energy-secure economy in Europe.”