Skip to main content


Volume 532: debated on Tuesday 6 September 2011

14. What recent assessment he has made of the potential effects on the rate of inflation of recent trends in domestic energy prices. (70008)

The Office for Budget Responsibility assesses the prospects for inflation, which of course factors in any changes in prices from Budget 2011. It will update its forecast this autumn.

I thank the Minister for her answer, but with rising energy prices, stagnating real-terms income and rising unemployment, I ask her again what specific actions will be taken to help the more than 4 million households in England and one in seven households in my constituency that will face fuel poverty this year?

We have already taken action in previous Budgets, not least by taking people out of paying income tax altogether by raising the personal allowance. As we have heard, we reduced fuel duty, in contrast to the previous Government’s plans to increase it. More than that, we are making sure that we target help at vulnerable people through the Warm Homes discount and next year, of course, we will introduce the green deal to help everybody to make their homes more energy-efficient.

Does the Minister agree that although policies to help people out of income tax at the bottom level will show positive results, it is important to maintain the pressure to provide new apprenticeships so that high-value exporting manufacturers, such as Severn Glocon in my constituency, can continue to generate significant foreign exchange benefits.

Order. The Minister will want to relate her answer to domestic energy prices. I feel sure that that is what she will do.

I shall try. I am sure that many of those apprenticeships will be in green industry, which is part of how we hope to get this economy back on its feet.