The cost of living crisis affects everyone in our nation, with bills quickly outstripping incomes. Below is our 6-point plan to protect both households and businesses against rising energy costs.
With oil and gas companies set to make up to £170 billion in profits over the next two years, it is their social responsibility to pay their further share to help protect against rising bills. Using the funds collected via a windfall tax from the only companies profiting from this crisis we would:
1. Remove the standing rate charge and ensuring this saving is passed onto the consumer. Standing charges are a thing of the past and the simple principle should be that people pay for what they use; nothing more.
2. Remove the 5% VAT currently found on energy bills.
3. Launch an urgent free-of-charge insulation campaign, UK homes leak heat at three times the rate of housing in the rest of Europe. This should be assisted by heat surveys carried about by local councils to ensure those that need insulation first can get it first.
4. Provide one-off grants to businesses to help cope with soaring energy caps - with businesses not being covered by the energy cap, there are many who face closure without immediate government support - we would also introduce a temporary 12-month freeze on their bills.
5. Introduce one-off grants for schools, colleges, training centres, offices, universities and hospitals to install solar panels or other green energy technology.
6. Establish more training courses to reskill and upskill engineers in the manufacture and installation of solar panels; the Yorkshire Party has long called for specialist green technology colleges. In face of current demand, the UK has a huge shortage.
These measures are intended to protect everyone who is facing their bills skyrocket.
But we can’t just be reactive, we must plan for the future, plan to avoid the next crisis.
We should do this by supporting the next generation of clean energy.
A Yorkshire Party government would sponsor domestic energy production, energy can be harvested in our own nation to ensure that we are not reliant on the whims of foreign despots.
We would introduce further and larger offshore wind farms to compliment Hornsea 1&2, in addition to significant investments in micro & community generation schemes. Along with this, specialist green energy colleges would be brought in to train the next generation in well-paying, long-term jobs.
Immediate action must be taken by the government and we call upon them to make the choices now, to protect as many as possible.