SRUK's Response To The 2023 Spring Budget
SRUK says the government plans for energy bills offer "short-term respite" - with longer-term solutions still needed.
SRUK welcomes the government’s intention to tackle the high cost of energy, but their plans only offer short-term respite and could risk people suffering once again this coming winter.
As part of the government’s Spring Budget, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt MP, announced that:
- the Energy Price Guarantee will remain at its current level (£2,500 per year for an average household) until the end of June. It had been expected to rise to £3,000 in April.
- prepayment meter charges will fall and become comparable with direct debit charges, ending the ‘energy premium’ associated with pay-as-you-go meters.
Sue Farrington, SRUK Chief Executive, said:
“We are pleased the government is taking steps to address the issue of high energy costs. Many people with Raynaud’s have been badly affected by the severe cold this winter because they rely on their heating to prevent painful attacks, but have struggled because of the cost and seen their condition worsen as a result.
“However, these plans do not go far enough. Extending the Energy Price Guarantee and scrapping the ‘prepayment penalty’ for those with pay-as-you-go meters may provide some financial relief, but with spring right around the corner our reliance on heating – and therefore our energy bills – will decrease regardless.
“We need to combine these initiatives with others that will provide long-term solutions, such as making it easier for people to fully insulate their homes or working with energy companies and Ofgem to find ways to keep energy prices stable and affordable.
“Without a long-term commitment, we are concerned this issue will be swept to one side and this coming winter, people who rely on their heating to protect their health will once again be left to struggle and suffer the consequences.
“As the only charity in the UK supporting people with Raynaud’s, we will continue to monitor the situation and call on the government to act where we believe it is necessary. No-one's health should suffer because of the price of energy.”