I never thought I’d have to use a credit card to pay for my weekly shop, but that’s how things are now.

My wife and I are lucky — I know there are people far worse off than us — but I feel like there are a lot of people in our boat. Both of us work, but still every month we drop into our overdraft about a week before payday.

It’s wrong: we’re working hard and yet we’re struggling to keep the lights and heating on.

That’s Russ’s story, a Labour party member from Lancashire.
And it’s a recurring one.

Which magazine recently found that three out of ten people it surveyed said they did not know how they would be able to afford to heat their homes this coming winter. And that included pensioners, spending time in the library to avoid heating their homes.


Since the Coalition came to power Electricity prices have risen by between 22% and 39%, Gas between 17 and an eye-watering 45%

And it’s very difficult to understand why. A new study by Ofgem shows that while consumers are paying up to 11.1% more, wholesale prices have risen by just 1.7% in the last year. The same figures reveal that the average profit margin made by the energy firms has more than doubled in the past year from £45 to £95 per customer.

There’s no sign of a let up. A new round of inflation-busting price rises is on the way, after inflation busting bonuses.

NPower, which has paid no corporation tax in three years, will put up its prices by 10.4% in December, in spite of £766 million profit. It still managed to find £35 million in bonuses for bosses over the past five years.

It’s increasingly clear that the energy market is broken – and needs some fundamental fixing. Which is why Labour would bring in a freeze on energy prices in 2015, while it sorts things out.


But Labour also knows we need that freeze now – before that other big freeze in temperatures comes in this winter.

So act now – sign Labour’s petition and call on the George Osborne and the LibDem/Tory Coalition to freeze prices now – for Russ’s sake and your own.


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