The cost of living shows the disconnect between the heart of Government and the realities on the ground for the vast majority of people.

When the book is closed on the last chapter of this Conservative Government, a legacy of insecurity will be left: the gig economy, zero-hours contracts, fire and rehire, the loss of workplace rights.

The Conservative Party are the Party of child poverty, food poverty, fuel poverty, and homelessness.

The decisions and political choices of the last decade failed to put the resources of the state behind addressing these issues.

Working families are facing tough choices this winter and in the months ahead. Many will be pushed below the poverty line due to the rising cost of living.

A YouGov poll found that one in ten people could not afford a £5 per month increase in their cost of living – or £1 a week.

A third of people said they could not afford a £25 per month increase and half of people could not afford an additional £50 a month to their cost of living.

In February, Ofgem will announce the new price cap for April 2022, with Energy Sector specialists Cornwall Insight warning bills could rise by 46% from £1,277 a year under the current price cap to £1,865 a year.

If the Government does not take urgent action, the majority of families in the UK will be struggling to make ends meet due to rising energy prices alone.

I do not agree with the Government prescription: higher taxes for working people, with national insurance and council tax going up in the months ahead. By 2026/27, the average household will pay £3,000 more in tax than when the Prime Minister came to office.

Our energy network is outdated and expensive.

People living in my constituency will react in disbelief at rising energy prices after having to spend up to two weeks in the dark and cold this winter following Storm Arwen.

These are the consequences of fragmentation and privatisation: an expensive and unreliable energy system.

Catastrophic failure is brushed under the carpet, with Ministers refusing a public inquiry into the events leading up to and following Storm Arwen. Yet again we see a Government that refuses to take any responsibility.

The lights and heating will be going off for a different reason in the weeks ahead.

The catastrophic decision by the Conservative Party to appoint and keep in post a Prime Minister who is not up to the job, is mired in scandal, and is failing to meet the needs of the British public.

I welcome both the short term and long term measure proposed by the Shadow Frontbench as it recognises the need for immediate help while taking steps to ensure the energy system is fundamentally reformed.

The Labour difference: a promise to reduce the country’s reliance on imported gas by acceleration home-grown renewables and new nuclear power. Make sure 19 million homes are warm and well-insulted, saving households an average of £400 a year.

In the short term, remove VAT on domestic energy bills for 2022.

Expanding and increasing the £140 Warm Homes Discount.

A Windfall Tax on North Sea Oil and Gas.

And a Contingency Fund to support energy intensive business.

The difference between the Government and Opposition is that Labour has a plan to support families, while the Prime Minister has simply run out of ideas.

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