Think tank expert calls on government to offer more targeted income support, accelerate energy decarbonisation and boost home insulation
Today the UK will see the biggest rise in the cost of energy in living memory, with bills increasing by 54 per cent. The IPPR think tank warns that this rise will mean that many people on low incomes will struggle to pay for essentials, unless the government delivers more support. Improving home insulation and decarbonising energy must also be prioritised.
Luke Murphy, IPPR associate director for energy, climate, housing and infrastructure said, said:
Today's energy price cap rise will be a dark day for the UK's poorest. People on low incomes and in the most poorly insulated homes will suffer an enormous hit to their family budgets, and may be forced to miss out on essentials, such as food and heating.
So far, the government's measures to reduce the impact of these bill rises have been shockingly inadequate. To prevent this energy crisis becoming a living standards catastrophe, the government needs to get targeted support to those with the greatest need, that means uplifting benefits by 8.1 per cent and boosting child payments.
The sad reality is that the situation facing households now needn't have anywhere near as bad, but decades of inadequate action to decarbonise our energy sources and insulate the nation's homes has left us dangerously exposed to fluctuating gas prices.
As war continues to rage in Ukraine, sending already surging gas prices even higher, the government must now drastically accelerate efforts to end our reliance on fossil fuels like gas and accelerate investments in renewable energy. They also need to roll out a GreenGO finance scheme - like help to buy' but for green goods - to get insulation and heat pumps into everyone's homes
Luke Murphy is available for broadcast interview
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NOTES TO EDITORS
- Last year, IPPR published the final report of its cross-party Environmental Justice Commission, which set out a blueprint for a people-first drive to net zero, which rapidly reduces emissions, while ensuring fairness and opportunity for all. One of the key recommendations was the introduction of a one-stop-shop finance scheme called GreenGO to help fund home insulation and heat pump installation. Available here: https://www.ippr.org/research/publications/fairness-and-opportunity
- IPPR analysis of the government's cost of living support measures announced at the Spring Statement found that the poorest households get just 120 help, while the richest are handed a 480 boost. Available here: https://www.ippr.org/news-and-media/press-releases/revealed-poorest-get-just-120-help-in-spring-statement-while-richest-handed-480-boost
- IPPR is the UK's pre-eminent progressive think tank. With more than 40 staff in offices in London, Manchester, Newcastle and Edinburgh, IPPR is Britain's only national think tank with a truly national presence. www.ippr.org