Mid Devon’s Lib Dems back “Robin Hood tax” on energy giants to support families with heating bills
By Cllr Luke Taylor
Originally published by Tiverton and Honiton Liberal Democrats
This week I have written to the Secretary of State for Energy Kwasi Kwarteng demanding that he backs the Liberal Democrat call for a "Robin Hood" tax on the super-profits of oil and gas firms, to raise money to support local families facing soaring energy costs.
The proposed one-off levy could raise over £5 billion to help support families in Mid Devon as their energy bills sky-rocket. The money raised through this "one-off" tax could fund a substantial package of emergency support to help thousands of people facing higher bills.
This would include doubling the Warm Homes Discount and extending it to all those receiving Universal Credit or Pension Credit, giving 7,000 households in Mid Devon £300 each off their heating bills this year. This would help offset the average £195 bill increase experienced during 2021.
The energy price cap which is currently holding household prices down is expected to rise by around 50% in April, meaning bills could double. We need action to reduce and offset this now, not further dither and delay by a government distracted by crisis after crisis of its own making.
We are also calling for the Winter Fuel Allowance to be doubled, benefitting 44,000 pensioners in Mid Devon and helping them keep their homes warm. On top of this, funding would be spent on helping people insulate their homes to permanently slash heating bills and reduce emissions.
It can't be right that a few energy firms are making millions from record gas prices while millions of people can't even afford to heat their homes. The cost-of-living crisis is causing thousands of Mid Devon households to choose between heating or eating. That we need to ask the Secretary of State to step forward to support them in the first place is unconscionable in a rich society such as ours.
A one-off Robin Hood tax on gas and oil bosses would provide vital funding to support families in Mid Devon who are facing crippling energy price hikes, would allow time for the energy market to normalise prices after the recent supply issues, and deliver home insulation schemes to lower bills.
This is an emergency. For years the Conservatives have ignored this problem and failed to take the bold action we need to reduce fuel poverty. The Government cannot look the other way any longer while families and households struggle to get by.
Cllr Luke Taylor is Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group on Mid Devon District Council and a Councillor for Bradninch on the district and parish councils