Sadiq Khan calls for ‘Covid-style’ support package to tackle soaring energy bill crisis

·2-min read
Sadiq Khan (PA)
Sadiq Khan (PA)

Sadiq Khan has called for a “Covid-style” support package in order to help families facing soaring energy bills this autumn.

With energy bills set to rise to £3,500 in October, the Mayor has urged the Government to introduce welfare support for the hardest hit families across the capital.

“With the spiralling cost of living already hitting those on lower incomes the hardest, it’s essential that the government take urgent action to help make ends meet,” Mr Khan said.

“That means immediately introducing a pandemic-style package of welfare support targeted directly at those on lower incomes to help them survive this winter, prevent inequalities growing further and ensure we can build a better and more prosperous city for all Londoners.”

Mr Khan is calling for targeted support for the most vulnerable which includes a “lifeline tariff” to ensure the Mayor can ensure the most vulnerable can receive a basic amount of free energy every day, increase Universal Credit in line with inflation (10.1 per cent), freeze private rents for two years, and provide free school meals to all primary school children.

It comes as a City Hall survey revealed that the number of lower-income Londoners living with food insecurity remained at 44 per cent in 2021-2022.

Since the survey, which took place between November last year and this February, 20 per cent of lower-income Londoners have regularly or occasionally gone without food or essential items or relied on outside support in the last six months

The survey also found that 13 per cent of Londoners said they were not able to keep their home warm enough in the winter of 2021-22, compared to 12 per cent in 2018-19.

The proportion of higher-income Londoners with unsecured debt fell from 40 per cent to 31 per cent, while for lower-income Londoners it remained largely unchanged from 42 per cent to 40 per cent.

The proportion of Londoners earning more than £37,900 without £1,500 in savings fell from 15 per cent to eight per cent.

Despite not spelling out their potential plans for further energy support, both Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss have insisted more aid will come to families this autumn.

Ms Truss, who is expected to win the contest, has already said she will eversing the rise in national insurance and next year’s corporation tax increase from 19 per cent to 25 per cent. Ms Truss has also to aid those who are most vulnerable with targeted support this autumn and winter.