Kerry McCarthy Labour MP for Bristol East
In Parliament yesterday I called on the Government to introduce an immediate ban on the forced installation of prepayment meters. Citizens Advice revealed that one person is being cut off from their energy supply every 10 seconds, with 3.2 million people across Great Britain unable to afford to top up their prepayment meters at some point last year.
As I said in my question “It is the Government and the energy regulator’s responsibility to ensure people aren’t sitting at home in the cold, in the dark.” These figures include 130,000 households with a disabled person or someone with a long-term health condition. Self-disconnection has rapidly become widespread and is putting vulnerable people’s lives in danger.
The Business and Energy Secretary promised his Government is looking into this and will be consulting with Ofgem. But as temperatures plummet, that’s not good enough. The Government need to act now.
You can read a full write-up of my question and the debate in this Evening Standard article.