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Energy Price Cap: Living Standards

Volume 718: debated on Tuesday 12 July 2022

16. What recent discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on the potential impact of increases in the energy price cap on living standards. (901033)

We have talked about energy prices. We have an energy price cap, and we have it because it protects consumers from being exposed to the wild gyration of prices—and that is what it has been doing.

I thank the Secretary of State for that answer, whatever that was.

More than a fifth of my constituents already live in fuel poverty, despite the best efforts of the Scottish Government and local agencies investing heavily in energy efficiency measures. The £400 announced by the previous Chancellor is totally inadequate given that we hear the price cap is to rise by a further £500. What action will the Secretary of State, and what is left of his Government, be taking to change the energy market fundamentally in order to ensure that no one in this country is left to choose between heating and eating?

I made the point about the price cap because wholesale gas prices have gone up 20 times and the price cap is protecting vulnerable people who are eligible for it, just as some in the House have remarked that people relying on off-gas grid heating are not protected by it. In relation to the substance of the hon. Gentleman’s question, we are looking at energy market reform to decouple the marginal cost—the cost that people pay—from the actual cost of generation, which is much more based on renewables.