Lib Dems back “Robin Hood tax” on energy giants to support families with heating bills
Hinckley and Bosworth Liberal Democrats have today written to the Secretary of State for Energy Kwasi Kwarteng demanding that he backs the party's call for a "Robin Hood" tax on the super-profits of oil and gas firms, to raise money to support local families facing soaring energy costs.
The proposed one-off levy could raise over £5 billion to help support families in Hinckley and Bosworth as their energy bills sky-rocket.
The Liberal Democrats say the money raised through this "one-off" tax could fund a substantial package of emergency support to help thousands of people facing higher bills.
This would include doubling the Warm Homes Discount and extending it to all those receiving Universal Credit or Pension Credit, giving 9,248 households in Hinckley and Bosworth £300 each off their heating bills this year.
The party is also calling for the winter fuel allowance to be doubled, benefitting 25,730 pensioners in the area and helping them keep their homes warm. On top of this, funding would be spent on helping people insulate their homes to slash heating bills in the long term.
Hinckley Liberal Democrat Councillor Michael Mullaney who has written to the Secretary of State for Energy said:
"It can't be right that a few energy firms are making millions from record gas prices while people can't even afford to heat their homes as the cost of living crisis hits Hinckley and Bosworth hard.
"A one-off Robin Hood tax on gas and oil bosses would provide vital funding to support families in our area who are facing crippling energy price hikes.
"For years the Conservatives have ignored this problem and failed to take the bold action we need to reduce fuel poverty. The Government cannot look the other way any longer while families struggle to get by."
Text of the letter from Michael to the Secretary of State for Energy
Secretary of State
Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy
1 Victoria Street
Doubling and extending the Warm Homes Discount (£2bn): Taking £300 a year off the heating bills of around 7.5 million vulnerable and low income households, by more than doubling the Warm Homes Discount and extending it to all those on Universal Credit and Pension Credit. This would also reduce energy bills for all households across the country, as currently the Warm Homes Discount is paid for by other customers rather than through taxing the super-profits of oil and gas companies.
Doubling the Winter Fuel Allowance (£1.9bn): Giving up to £600 a year to 11.3 million elderly pensioners to help with their heating bills, through a one-off doubling of the Winter Fuel Allowance. Pensioners are currently facing a £208 real-terms cut to the state pension next year due to the Conservative government's decision to scrap the triple lock. This would cost an estimated £1.9 billion.
A new ten-year home insulation scheme (£500m): This would be spent on reducing people's energy bills in the long-term through an emergency home insulation programme to upgrade poorly insulated UK homes - including through fully funded grants for those in fuel poverty and on low incomes. This would cost an estimated £500 million in the next year.
Supporting energy intensive businesses (£500m): This funding would be used to support businesses and protect jobs in energy-intensive industries, while helping firms reduce their need for energy in the long-term.