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Drew Hendy is calling for a £400 energy bill rebate before the UK budget

By Scott Maclennan

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MP Drew Hendry. Picture Gary Anthony.
MP Drew Hendry. Picture Gary Anthony.

The SNP has challenged Chancellor Jeremey Hunt to introduce a £400 energy bill rebate for households at the UK autumn budget on Wednesday – warning "the Tory government must not leave families in the cold this winter".

With energy bills around double what they were in 2021 and mortgages, rents and food bills soaring, MP Drew Hendry MP called on the Chancellor to "deliver broad-based measures that give the majority of families immediate help".

The SNP’s Westminster economy spokesman called on the Chancellor to follow Scotland's lead with a five point package of support, that includes:

  • energy rebate
  • mortgage interest tax relief
  • action to reduce food prices
  • increasing benefits in line with inflation

And he also sought the permanent transfer of powers over energy, employment, welfare and the economy to the Scottish Parliament so it “can act where Westminster has repeatedly failed.”

It comes as Cornwall Insight predicts the Default Tariff Cap will rise from £1834 a year for a typical household to £1931.25 from January – representing an increase of more than five per cent on the current cap and an increase of 85 per cent on the same period in 2021.

Meanwhile, electricity standing charges have also increased significantly since 2021 - more than doubling from £86 per year to £186 per year on average.

Mr Hendry said: "The Tory government must not leave families in the cold this winter. Time is running out to help households with the soaring cost of living before the winter freeze hits homes.

"With UK energy bills, mortgages, rents and food prices spiralling, the Chancellor must deliver broad-based measures that give the majority of families immediate help.

"That means introducing a £400 energy bill rebate, and scrapping sky-high standing charges, to protect households from increasingly unaffordable bills - as part of a major package of support to boost household incomes.

"Millions of people have seen their incomes hammered as a result of Tory cuts, Brexit and UK government incompetence.

"The SNP government is helping families with the council tax freeze and Scottish Child Payment. The UK government must now follow Scotland's lead - and transfer powers over energy, employment and the economy so Scotland can act where it fails.

"By failing to act, Westminster is showing why Scotland needs the full powers of independence so we can grow our economy and boost incomes. Independent European countries like Scotland are wealthier and fairer than the UK - so the question is: why not Scotland?"

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