Energy crisis: UK Government cannot remain in limbo for weeks as energy crisis grows – Scotsman comment
Spiralling energy costs are creating a crisis so severe that it should prompt politicians to at least consider radical steps, like forming a national government.
Of course, the chances of that actually happening are slim to none, given the ‘politics as usual’ approach taken by most who walk the corridors of power.
However, outside in the real world, where families will soon be facing energy bills of nearly £4,000 a year, the usual struggle of the poorest to make ends meet is set to become almost impossibly difficult.
Once at just £1,042 a year, the energy price cap is expected to rise to £3,420 this autumn and then to £3,850 in the first three months of 2023. The average household energy bill for January alone could hit £500.
In that context, the decision to announce the winner of the Conservative leadership contest on September 5 looks lackadaisical in the extreme.
Boris Johnson has been criticised for ‘clocking off’ as Prime Minister. However, he and his stopgap government are in no real position to take major decisions, given they could be over-ruled by his successor. And we won’t know whether that’s Rishi Sunak or Liz Truss for six weeks.
Earlier this month, the founder of the Money Saving Expert website, Martin Lewis, warned the “catastrophically high” October price cap – to be announced a fortnight before the new Tory leader – would “cause panic” and the new government would not have enough time to react. He also speculated that food banks would need to be joined by “warm banks”, for people who cannot afford to heat their homes.
One solution to this would be for Rishi Sunak, Liz Truss and Boris Johnson to put aside their differences and petty rivalries, and urgently agree measures to help people who will otherwise be forced to skip meals in cold, damp homes with all the dangers to health this poses. Johnson would enact the policies and his successor would continue them.
Given they are all in the same party, this would be nothing like as complicated as creating a national government, but are they prepared to break off from campaigning to do it?
Ultimately, it will depend on how much they actually care about those facing a rapidly growing crisis that might very well overwhelm them.
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