Protesters raise issue of fuel poverty in Westminster

A petition calling for an overhaul of our energy pricing structure has been delivered to Downing Street.

The ‘Energy For All’ petition, signed by over 650,000 people, calls for a universal, free amount of energy that would cover everyone’s basic necessities of heating, lighting and cooking.

This would be paid for by ending the millions of pounds spent daily on fossil fuel subsidies, windfall taxes on excess profits of energy companies and higher prices for profligate energy use.

The event, organised by Fuel Poverty Action included a rally and march attended by around 100 people and also backed members of the Warm This Winter campaign.

Stuart Bretherton, Energy For All Campaign Coordinator, said:

Millions of people will face fuel poverty this winter, with prices sitting at double what they were last year, and now renewed uncertainty over how high they will climb next year.

Energy For All would deliver justice and security to all consumers now and in the future, by ensuring everyone’s basic needs are met and that steps are taken to address the climate crisis. Ordinary people cannot keep footing the bill for crises created by the wealthy, it’s time for the big polluters and profiteers to pay their share.

Over 20 MPs from multiple parties also attended to show their support for the demand.

A day prior to the petition hand-in, Early Day Motion was launched in parliament to support some of the key components of the ‘Energy For All’ demand.

Constituents can write to their MP urging them to sign the EDM using an Action Network template:

Protestors from Greenpeace and Fuel Poverty Action also took direct action in Parliament as the new Prime Minister was announced.

The activists, endorsed by Disabled People Against Cuts, are demanding that the next prime minister start putting the welfare of the British people before fossil fuel companies by properly taxing oil and gas profits and launching a nationwide home insulation programme to tackle fuel poverty.

As figures show that fuel poverty in Rishi Sunak’s constituency will hit 40% of households, protesters have also recently called for more action to help those in fuel poverty and the introduction of a real oil and gas windfall tax to help those most in need.

Image: Angela Christofilou

Mass fuel poverty protest planned for Westminster

Rising public anger at the levels of fuel poverty have seen two members of the End Fuel Poverty Coalition call a mass protest on 26 November 2021.
Led by the National Pensioners’ Convention and Fuel Poverty Action, the protest will highlight the excess winter deaths caused by fuel poverty.
Protestors will demand immediate action from the Government to address rising levels of fuel poverty that were failed to to be addressed in Chancellor’s “bleak” Budget earlier this year.
The action will take place in Westminster on 26 November 2021 (12 noon, assemble at George V statue, Old Palace Yard) and after a rally outside Parliament, protesters will march on Downing Street to demand immediate support for those in fuel poverty.
One of the organisers, Ruth London, said:
Deaths from fuel poverty in this wealthy country are not an act of God but an obscenity. They’re a result of deliberate policies on housing, fossil fuels, pensions, benefits, taxes, and wages, that cannot be allowed to stand.

Jan Shortt, General Secretary of the National Pensioners’ Convention said:

No one should die in this country – one of the richest in the world – from the cold related illness in the 21st century.  Yet millions of people on low incomes will already be having to choose whether to eat or heat their homes this winter.

We need the Prime Minister to recognise the death penalty awaiting our poorest, oldest and most vulnerable this winter, and personally step in with measures to regulate prices and most importantly help those in need afford the basics he and the more well off take for granted.

A spokesperson for the End Fuel Poverty Coalition added:
People are so desperate and scared at the prospect of not being able to heat their homes this winter that they are now taking to streets in the hope the Government hears their concerns and takes the urgent economic steps necessary to halt a public health crisis.