SNP plea as Scottish constituencies face highest average energy bills rise

Orkney and Shetland and Ross, Skye and Lochaber face the highest average increases in energy bills across Scotland.

SNP plea as three Scottish constituencies face highest average energy bills rise STV News

The SNP has called for action from the UK Government as new data reveals the three parliamentary constituencies facing the highest average increase in energy bills compared with last year are in Scotland.

Figures released in a joint report from Energy UK, Citizens Advice and National Energy Action show Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Orkney and Shetland and Ross, Skye and Lochaber face the highest average increases in energy bills, with £227, £219 and £206 respectively.

The Glasgow Central seat was also 12th on the list, with an increase expected of £154 on average per household.

At the other end of the scale, Esher and Walton, Chesham and Amersham and Beaconsfield will see an average drop in prices of £159, £157 and £150.

The highest drop in Scotland will be seen in the East Dunbartonshire seat – which is widely considered one of the wealthiest north of the border – where predictions suggest bills could fall by an average of £104.

Broken down by the party which represents each seat, the figures show SNP constituencies will see increases of £54 on average, compared with £32 for Labour, £19 for Liberal Democrats and £17 for Conservative seats.

The SNP has long called for more intervention from the UK Government on energy bills, with MP David Linden – the party’s social justice spokesman – urging the Chancellor to use North Sea oil revenues to fund a rebate on bills, as well as suggesting following the Scottish Government’s Scottish Child Payment.

The benefit sees £25 per child per week given to the worst-off families in the country and has been hailed by poverty campaigners.

Mr Linden said: “Households across Scotland are paying the price for Westminster failure.

“Scotland is an energy rich country with natural resources in abundance. It is, therefore, ridiculous that families across these isles remain fuel poor, with the top three constituencies seeing the highest energy bill increases in Scotland.

“For too long the UK Treasury has raked in the profits that Scotland’s natural resources have generated, while seeing nothing in return.

“Westminster must, instead, use these profits to give families in Scotland a £400 energy rebate, and match progressive Scottish Government policies like the Scottish Child Payment to ease the worries families have this winter.”

In their report, the charities showed the three highest increases across the country will be seen in the south west (£74), Wales (£58) and Scotland (£56).

They also called for action from the Government, urging the Chancellor to reinstate a targeted version of the Energy Price Guarantee, urgently roll out energy efficiency measures and develop a framework that would eventually lead to a social tariff – with people on benefits paying less in bills.

A Department for Energy Security and Net Zero spokesperson said: “We do not recognise these speculative figures, which are based quite clearly on incomplete analysis. In fact, since last year energy prices have improved significantly, which is good news for households who have seen their energy bills come down.

“We recognise people are facing cost of living pressures and we are supporting the most vulnerable this winter, including three million families with £150 off their energy bills through the Warm Home Discount. This comes on top of £900 cost of living support for those in need – as well as nearly £40 billion provided last winter to cover around half a typical household’s energy bill.

“We will continue to monitor the situation and will keep options under review, including with respect to the most vulnerable households.”

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