Devon MP says Conservative plans for heating oil a ‘slap in the face’

Tiverton’s MP has joined his fellow Lib Dems in branded the Conservative plans on heating oil a “slap in the face” for rural families in Devon as they offer off-grid homes just £100 extra help.

Lewis Clarke www.devonlive.com

The average household on heating oil is facing a £1,200 increase in their heating costs, meaning the £100 help from the government will make little difference. In Devon, 40,511 homes use heating oil to keep their homes warm. It means families in Devon on heating oil are facing a total increase of £44,561,992 to the cost of their heating, even including the £100 help from the government.

Richard Foord, Liberal Democrat MP for Tiverton & Honiton, said: “People in Devon are facing unprecedented hikes in their energy bills, yet those who use heating oil are being forgotten about. Over 40,000 households are left facing a £44 million increase in their bills, and all the Conservatives have offered them is just £100 to help. Once again rural homes are being forgotten by this out of touch Conservative Government.”

Responding to the government’s announcement on energy bills for small businesses, he added: “The announcement is nothing more than a sticking plaster that comes far too late for many local businesses. The Conservatives have had months to act, but instead chose to sit on their hands whilst local shops, pubs, and cafes went to the wall. Now, they are trying to push the problem down the road for another six months. This simply isn’t good enough. It leaves many uncertain about the future and shows the Government still doesn’t have a plan to tackle this crisis. Our high streets need support to cover at least the next year; with a strong focus on improving energy efficiency and cutting bills in the long term. This is the only way to provide certainty and protect the beating heart of our towns and villages.”

Tim Farron MP, Liberal Democrat Rural Affairs Spokesperson said: “This is a slap in the face for rural communities across the country. People in rural areas often face higher bills yet despite this the Conservatives are offering them less. The promise of only an extra £100 for people facing a £1,200 hike in just their heating bill alone shows that the Conservatives don’t understand the needs of rural communities who cannot rely on the mains grid. These communities are sick of being taken for granted and this announcement is proof – if ever it was needed – that the Conservative Government does not understand or care about rural Britain. Liberal Democrats are calling for a price cap on heating oil to protect homes facing sky high bills this Winter.”

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