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Energy Bills

Volume 557: debated on Thursday 31 January 2013

As I said to hon. Members who asked a similar question, we have a range of measures to help people with their energy bills, be they the warm home discount or collective switching, and we think they are having a big impact.

My constituents are facing cuts to jobs, cuts to tax credits and cuts to wages at the same time as food bills, VAT and energy bills are soaring. Will the Secretary of State explain why the Chancellor says that the Government will do everything they can to keep down energy bills but research by the Association for the Conservation of Energy shows that help for the people most in need has actually fallen?

The hon. Lady missed out of her list the fact that we have taken 2 million of the lowest paid out of income tax altogether, delivering a tax cut to more than 25 million people; the fact that we have helped pensioners by a record amount; and the fact that last year people on benefits had a 5.2% increase. She ought to add those to her list.

On help with energy bills, I have always said to the House that there is no way that I, or any Minister or any Government, can have an impact on the effect of world energy prices. People around the world are suffering from the high and increasing world gas and oil prices, and we have to do everything we can, in the short, medium and long terms, to help consumers, to help our people and to help our economies. We are doing that.