Poorest will be hardest hit by lack of government energy plan, says UNISON 

Intervention needed to prevent heating or eating choices

Commenting on the business secretary’s statement on the energy crisis, UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea said today (Monday): 

“The government’s lack of an energy plan has made a bad situation much worse. Allowing the market free rein, with multiple energy suppliers fighting for consumers, was always going to end in disaster.

“Millions of low-income households are feeling the strain of the growing cost of living crisis. Now soaring energy bills will add to their already considerable economic hardship. 

“The government has failed to put in place an energy efficiency programme for every house and business in the land. This would have cut consumption, kept people warm and bills low.  

“The failure of ministers is lamentable. Poorer households already spend a higher share of their income on fuel. More affluent families can afford energy-efficiency measures, but lower income workers cannot. 

“No one should have to choose between eating and heating. But this winter care workers, teaching assistants, hospital porters and other essential workers will have to do just that. The government must scrap the universal credit cut and start getting to grips with the energy crisis. 

“Ministers should consider taking the retail energy suppliers into public ownership and start buying energy on behalf of UK homes and businesses. That could be done for a low cost and would give immediate relief, while ministers focus on securing energy at more stable price levels.” 

Notes to editors: 
-UNISON is the UK’s largest union with more than 1.3 million members providing public services in education, local government, the NHS, police service and energy. They are employed in the public, voluntary and private sectors.  

Media contacts:
Liz Chinchen M: 07778 158175 E: press@unison.co.uk
Fatima Ayad M: 07508 080383 E: f.ayad@unison.co.uk