Jeremy Corbyn on the fuel poverty crisis

Former Labour leader and Islington North MP Jeremy Corbyn 

Former Labour leader and Islington North MP Jeremy Corbyn - Credit: PA

Local papers are the glue of communities. The Islington Gazette does vital work in raising awareness of the very real, and present fuel poverty crisis.

This week it has been reported that the Government has missed its own 2020 target for tackling fuel poverty – it has failed to ensure all fuel-poor homes have an energy efficiency rating of E or higher, and it is also at “high risk” of failing to meet its goals for 2025.

Despite a “price cap” being in place, household energy bills are soaring, with around 15 million households having energy bills rise by 12 per cent since the start of this month. In 2022 they could rise by as much as 30 per cent.

Mounting energy bills are only one aspect of a deepening cost-of-living crisis for millions of people this winter – a crisis made much worse by the Government’s appalling decision to cut Universal Credit by £20 a week.

This inhumane cut came at the same time as prices are rising in the shops, yet the Government has no plan to deal with it.

And rather than taxing the wealthiest companies and individuals - who can afford to pay a bit more - to secure NHS funding and build a National Care Service, National Insurance contributions have been raised, further squeezing the incomes of people who are already struggling to get by.

The premature end to the furlough scheme has also hit people hard.

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It is little wonder then that many constituents here in Islington North feel like they have stepped up again and again during the pandemic, but the Government is now pulling the rug from under their feet.

Whilst Boris Johnson talks the talk when it comes to “levelling up,” he certainly doesn’t walk the walk. In reality, this is a Government of the establishment for the establishment, which consistently puts private profit ahead of people’s jobs, health and livelihoods.

There is a better way – one based on sharing prosperity and investing in our future. As the MP for Islington North, I will keep fighting for that alternative.

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