Sunday, 7 August 2011
2,000 Sign SSP Petition On Gas and Electricity Bills
I sent this letter sent to First Minister Alex Salmond, MSP today
Dear First Minister,
Please find enclosed a 2,000 signature petition gathered by Scottish Socialist Party members in Edinburgh in the past few days expressing public anger at the escalating cost of gas and electricity bills. These signatures illustrate the depth of feeling that exists on this issue. With almost one million families in Scotland now suffering fuel poverty that anger has reached boiling point. Scottish Power, British Gas, SSE and Eon have increased prices by 19%, pushing the average bill for gas and electricity up to £1,500/ year.
This was not therefore the time for SNP Housing Minister Alex Neil to be cutting £20m from programmes designed to combat fuel poverty in Scotland. As if this ‘double whammy’ of increased prices and reduced Scottish Government support was not bad enough George Osborne has also cut the lifeline winter fuel allowance to pensioners by £100.
Our enclosed petition urges you to act now and to help those one in three households in Scotland in such dire need. It is time the bills were capped. Wages haven’t gone up, benefits haven’t gone up and pensions haven’t gone up, so power companies cannot be allowed to force more and more people into fuel poverty!
The people of Scotland demand you intervene to provide far greater help to those in need. Doubling the winter fuel allowance to pensioners would help, as would ensuring families on pre-payment cards get a discount rather than paying most for gas and electricity as at present.
I look forward to receiving reassurance from you that working people in Scotland will be given help by the Scottish Government rather than abandoned to market forces and rapacious multinational companies.