A template press release on the energy price hike announced today (3 February 2022), and Liberal Democrat proposals for a cost of living rescue package for struggling families.
Please use the spreadsheet to fill in the blanks. Sheet 1: the savings available through the Lib Dems cost of living package, with data organised by constituency area. Sheet 2: the projected rise in energy bills as a result of the energy price cap announcement today, with data organised by local authority (not available by constituency unfortunately).
This template is for use in England, Wales and Scotland.
Any questions, do not hesitate to get in touch on email@example.com.
Energy price hike: Lib Dems set out cost of living rescue package, to save struggling families in [INSERT AREA] almost £1,000
The Liberal Democrats have set out a “cost of living rescue plan” that would save thousands of struggling families in [INSERT AREA] nearly £1,000 this year.
It comes after Ofgem announced a crippling rise to people’s heating bills, with the energy price cap set to soar by 54% to £1,971 in April.
Energy bills for homeowners in [INSERT LOCAL AUTHORITY AREA] are forecast to soar by an estimated £[INSERT FIGURE - SHEET 2, COLUMN G] per household in April, according to analysis by the Liberal Democrats. Meanwhile, broadband bills are set to rise by 9.3% with inflation at its highest rate in almost thirty years.
The Liberal Democrats warned that Rishi Sunak's proposals to deal with soaring energy bills will just be "spreading the pain over the coming years" while clobbering local families with tax hikes.
The cost of living rescue package being proposed by [INSERT AREA] Liberal Democrats includes taking £300 off struggling families’ heating bills by doubling and expanding the Warm Home Discount, funded through a “Robin Hood” tax on the super profits of oil and gas companies. The party would also scrap the planned National Insurance tax hike being introduced by the Conservatives in April, and ensure low-income families can access cheaper broadband deals.
As many as [INSERT FIGURE - COLUMN E] households in [INSERT AREA] would stand to benefit from the full package of support, saving them up to £975 each a year. [INSERT FIGURE - COLUMN B] households would save up to [INSERT FIGURE - COLUMN D] thanks to the scrapping of the National Insurance hike and the Stealth Tax on the income tax personal allowance. [INSERT FIGURE - COLUMN F] poorer pensioners would receive the expanded Warm Home Discount while [INSERT FIGURE - COLUMN I] struggling families would gain access to cheaper broadband deals, helping them cope with the cost of living crisis.
In total, the package represents savings of [INSERT FIGURE - COLUMN K] across [INSERT AREA] for [INSERT FIGURE - COLUMN L] households feeling the pinch.
Liberal Democrat [SPOKESPERSON/CHAIR/CANDIDATE] for [INSERT AREA], [INSERT NAME], said:
“Energy bills are going through the roof, forcing families in our community to choose between eating and heating. But all the Conservatives are doing is clobbering people with an unfair tax hike and spreading the pain over the coming years.
“[INSERT AREA] deserves better than a Conservative [MP/Prime Minister] missing in action, more concerned with their own political career than helping families struggling to pay the bills.
“The Liberal Democrats’ cost of living rescue plan would wipe up to £1,000 off the bills of [INSERT FIGURE - COLUMN L] struggling families in [INSERT AREA], by scrapping April’s tax hike, offering support to the most vulnerable, and insulating homes to slash energy bills in the long term.
“We are fighting for a fair deal for people in our community who are being let down by a Conservative Government that is taking them for granted.”
Notes to editors
Energy bills sources:
- Energy efficiency of Housing, England and Wales, local authority districts - Office for National Statistics - March 2021
- Average annual energy bill prices by local authority Scotland, 2020
N.B. Scottish data is calculated with a different methodology, meaning that figures are higher.
- Cutting household energy bills: Taking £300 off the heating bills of vulnerable and low income households by doubling the Warm Home Discount and expanding it to all those on Universal Credit and Pension Credit. This would be funded through a one-off Robin Hood tax on the record profits of oil and gas producers and traders.
- Reversing planned tax rises: Scrapping the National Insurance tax hike and the freezing of Income Tax thresholds in April. This would save a working family on Universal Credit an estimated £403 this year.
- Offering cheaper broadband: Forcing broadband providers to offer vulnerable customers cheaper deals of around £15 a month through social tariffs, saving households in receipt of Universal Credit or legacy benefits over £270 each this year. These tariffs are currently offered by some broadband providers on a voluntary basis, but the government could order the regulator Ofcom to make them mandatory by using a change in the law introduced in 2020.
- Research by uSwitch has found that the average monthly spend on broadband among those eligible for social tariffs is £34.50. This is set to rise to £37.71 a month with a 9.3% price increase in April, or £452 a year. The average household that switched to a social tariff basic broadband deal of £15 per month (£180 a year) would therefore save an estimated £272 a year.
- Under Liberal Democrat proposals, a Universal Credit-eligible household comprising two adults aged 25 or over, working 40 hours a week and paid the National Living Wage (earning £19,760 p.a. each), with two school-age children, would see an annual saving of £975.52. This would result from: £201.50 per earner (£403 total) from the uprating of the Income Tax personal allowance and the scrapping of the National Insurance increase; an additional £300 from the Warm Home Discount; and £272.52 through the broadband social tariff discount.