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Energy bills remain high despite today's cap cut - the Tories' cost of living crisis has been devastating, says Usdaw

Date: 01 July 2024 Retail trade union Usdaw looks forward to a Labour Government that will tackle high energy bills, after the Tories' cost of living crisis severely impacted low-paid workers for three years. Inflation first went above the target rate in May 2021 and peaked in double figures for six-months. RPI inflation since the last election stands at 31%, yet average incomes have risen by less than 25%
Today the cap on unit prices of household energy dips by 7% but remains over 36% higher than at the last general election. The typical household, on a dual-fuel direct debit, will pay £1,568 in energy bills from today. Many could pay more depending on usage.

An Usdaw survey of 6,689 key workers in the retail, pharmaceutical, funeral care, warehouse and distribution sectors, conducted last month, found that:
  • Nearly three-quarters feel worse off than they were at the last General Election in 2019.
  • 72% have struggled to pay energy bills, with a quarter of those struggling every month.
  • 62% have taken out loans to pay everyday bills, and 45% of them are struggling to keep up with repayments.
Paddy Lillis, Usdaw General Secretary says: “While household energy costs are slowly coming down, they’re still 36% higher than at the last election and most people have not had an equivalent pay rise in that period, meaning that inflation has devalued incomes. Many voters will be asking themselves at this election if they are better off than at the last election; the evidence is clear that they are not.
“Short-term government support with ongoing cost of living pressures was not enough and has now been discontinued. The Tories have failed to deliver lasting solutions for the low-paid, with only short-term sticking plasters, leaving them exposed in a three-year cost of living crisis.
“In stark contrast, Labour has a plan for a new publicly owned energy company, Great British Energy, that will invest in homegrown clean energy to boost energy independence and cut bills for good. Labour will also deliver the new deal for working people that Usdaw has long campaigned for, which will provide much-needed employment rights to end poverty pay and insecure work.

“Our members and all workers need Labour in government to deliver the change they so desperately need. They have the opportunity to make that happen by voting Labour on Thursday 4 July.”

Notes for editors:
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is one of the fastest growing unions in the TUC and the UK's fifth biggest trade union with around 360,000 members. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemical industry and other trades www.usdaw.org.uk
Labour's plan to make work pay: delivering a new deal for working people
Labour Great British Energy: https://labour.org.uk/missions/clean-energy
Office for National Statistics Inflation Bulletin - June 2024
Ofgem energy price cap: https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/energy-price-cap

For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion

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The official website of the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers