MPs to ride out cost of living crisis in Commons with heating on ‘reduced rate’

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Cosy MPs will be basking in bargain heat this winter – as Parliament pays half what the rest of the country is forking out for energy bills.

At a time when families are worrying about affording to heat their homes this winter, the Parliamentary Estate will not have the same concerns.

Figures – released by the Government in an FOI – have revealed all the buildings on the estate pay a reduced rate for gas and electricity in comparison to the average household in Britain.

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They are paying suppliers EDF just 12.44p per KW of electricity – in comparison to the average household in Britain which is forking out a whopping 17.16p per KW.

For gas, Parliament are paying TotalEnergies just 1.97p per unit – less than half of what normal people were paying in the same period, which is around 7p.

Campaigners say it is becoming “more and more clear” that a society “run only for a wealthy elite” is coming into force.

They are calling on ordinary people to take action as MPs bask in their heated Parliament, while millions worry about how to pay hiked bills.

A spokesman for the Enough is Enough campaigns nationwide movement which is trying to fight the cost of living crisis said: “Enough really is enough. And it is time for people to use the anger they hear on stories like these and turn it into action.

“Energy bills are rocketing while fossil fuel giants make record profits. The government must face up to the reality that millions of people cannot take this price hike.

“We want to push back against the misery forced on millions by rising bills, low wages, food poverty, shoddy housing – and a society run only for a wealthy elite. The country is on its knees and it’s time to step up.”

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Ofgem announced last week that the energy price cap will rise by 80% in October, meaning the average annual energy bills for a “typical use household” will rise from the current level of £1,971 to £3,549.

The figure is based on a new maximum rate you can be charged per kWh of gas and electricity that you use, which is rising from October from 7p to 15p and for electricity, the price you will pay is rising from 28p to 52p per kWh.

Dave Ward, general secretary of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) said: “More foodbanks than McDonalds, millions of people unable to pay bills, millions more taking second jobs to even survive. All of this while the rich get richer.”

This week it was revealed that MPs charged taxpayers almost £200,000 for energy bills and other utilities at the second homes over the past year.

Campaigners say the findings show that Britain’s elected representatives were yet again being “insulated” from financial pain with much of their energy costs covered by the public purse.

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Politicians with seats outside London are allowed to put utility bills on expenses at one of their homes – whether it is in the capital or in their constituency.

MPs’ claims for gas, electricity and water amounted to just over £195,000 in 2021-22, according to an analysis of data from the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA).

A Government spokesman said on the figures online that they try to turn on the heating as late as possible:

“Parliament operates to a pre-agreed heating season which is modified annually according to weather conditions i.e. if the weather is unseasonably warm at the start of the heating season agreement is sought to delay switching on the heating, conversely if the weather is unseasonably cold the heating is switched on earlier.

“The pre-agreed heating season is from mid-September to mid-April. This reflects difficulties in overcoming thermal mass in a building with a large number of difficult to heat spaces with considerable floor to ceiling heights and issues regarding the fabric of the building.”


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