Since 2015 policies to insulate Britain’s homes and diversify our energy supply have stalled
- Ed Davey is leader of the Liberal Democrats and former energy and climate change secretary
Rocketing heating bills owing to dramatic gas price rises are just the latest chapter in Britain’s mounting cost of living crisis. From food price-hikes to increasing transport costs, this new bout of inflation is hitting essential goods – and that means the poorest people will be hit the hardest. So no one should be surprised that Boris Johnson has dismissed these problems. He wants us to think it’s all a global problem, with nothing unique to the UK. And he wants us to think it will all be over quickly.
Of course, the reality is somewhat different. While rising gas prices are a global phenomenon, British consumers will be hit hard because energy policy in the last six years has been an unmitigated disaster – with fewer homes being insulated and with measures for diversifying the UK away from overdependence on gas needlessly stalled. Within the last 18 months alone, the Conservatives have launched, mismanaged and then scrapped a Green Home Grant scheme; their flagship policy to help people cut their heating bills failed totally, and nothing has been put in its place.