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Britain’s opposition Labour Party to demand energy price cap freeze

General view of an electricity pylon near Ellesmere Port, Britain, September 27, 2021. REUTERS/Phil Noble

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LONDON, Aug 14 (Reuters) – Britain’s main opposition Labour Party will demand the power price cap to be frozen this autumn, a celebration source said, to greatly help the public cope with another expected surge in energy bills through the worst cost-of-living crisis in decades.

The Labour leader Keir Starmer is likely to set out information on the plans on Monday and require a block on the expected price cap rising above 3,000 pounds each year in October from 1,971 pounds currently, based on the source.

The announcement increase the pressure on foreign minister Liz Truss and former finance minister Rishi Sunak, both Conservative Party politicians looking to be Britain’s next prime minister after Boris Johnson resigned last month, who’ve up to now only promised more limited help.

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Charities in Britain are warning that thousands of people could possibly be forced into poverty if the federal government will not soften the blow with a brand new support package worth vast amounts of pounds.

“Looking forward to winter is frightening,” Starmer wrote in The Sunday Mirror. “We shall set out how exactly we would help people directly this winter in the coming days.”

A move by Russia to cut gas exports to the West following invasion of Ukraine has driven up bills across Europe, forcing governments in Italy, France and elsewhere to intervene to safeguard their citizens. For instance, France has capped electricity tariff rises at 4%.

The forecasting group Cornwall Insight estimates that average British annual bills for gas and electricity will jump to 3,582 pounds in October and 4,266 pounds in January. Earlier this season the purchase price cap was 1,277 pounds.

The favourite to be Britain’s next prime minister Truss has faced criticism from political opponents and charities for appearing to eliminate further “handouts” and, wanting to interest fiscally conservative party members, have not focused on increasing direct support to consumers.

Sunak said the other day every household would get savings of around 200 pounds on the energy bills with a decrease in value-added tax.

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Reporting by Andrew MacAskill; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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