Labour Metro Mayors, Welsh First Minister, former PM Gordon Brown and council leaders across Britain call on Chancellor to step up help as 3 million more Britons become fuel poor



embargo – 18.00hrs Wednesday, March 17, 2022

  • Labour leaders warn April will bring biggest fall in living standards for 50 years.
  • 3 million more Britons will become fuel poor in the next two weeks.
  • Fuel poverty numbers could go far beyond 8m by October without government help
  • Labour Metro Mayors, Welsh First Minister, former PM Gordon Brown and more than 60 council leaders across Britain call on Chancellor to step up help

The number of people in Britain in fuel poverty is set to sore rising by a staggering 3 million from 4.7 million now to 7.7 million next month. 

And research for the Alliance for Full Employment (AFFE) published tomorrow (Thurs) show that without remedial action in the Chancellor’s Spring Statement on March 23, the number of fuel poor could mushroom still further to more than 12 million people – nearly a quarter of all households – by October.

The shock figures, published by the AFFE have been compiled by Emeritus Professor of Social Policy at York University Jonathan Bradshaw whose figures show, without emergency measures by the government, there will be a 150% rise in Britain’s fuel poor before the onset of next winter.

And they have prompted an extraordinary call today from all of Labour’s Metro Mayors, First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford and former Prime Minister Gordon Brown to the Westminster government for urgent intervention to get ahead of the alarmingly sharply rising fuel poverty curve. 

The Labour leaders, most of whom are AFFE co-founders, joined by dozens of local authority leaders from across Britain have signed an open letter to Chancellor Rishi Sunak expressing their worry about the severe hardship facing families in every part of the UK  as “April 2022 brings us the worst cost of living crisis for half a century.”

All of Labour’s Metros Mayors – Steve Rotheram, Andy Burnham, Tracy Brabin, Jamie Driscoll, Dan Jarvis, Dan Norris, Nik Johnson and London Mayor Sadiq Khan are calling on Mr Sunak to acknowledge these are “extraordinarily difficult times”  and use his March 23 budget statement to remove the quadruple whammy which worsening the cost of living crisis. 

They appeal to him to

  • Halt the 1.25pc increase in employee national insurance contribution
  • Restore the £20 a week taken away from 6m families last October
  • Provide significantly greater help for energy costs, targeted at the poorest households
  • Put in place urgent support for insulation costs for the poorest households, as part of a comprehensive programme for housing retrofits
  • Update benefits this year in line with actual inflation rates

 “Six million low income families have already lost £20 a week because of the cut in Universal credit in October. Further cuts in the value of their incomes, as heating bills surge and food bills soar, will deepen the cost of living crisis they and many others face,” they write. 

“These cuts are unfair, and for many will be unbearable – pushing them over the edge into extreme poverty, and rendering them unable to adequately heat their homes or perhaps even provide the nutrition their children need,” says the letter.   

“Nothing less than these five measures, introduced together on March 23, can adequately respond to rising fuel poverty and prevent poverty as a whole rising faster than at any time in recent history. 

“We have the means to put them in place – for example by implementing a windfall tax on energy companies, among other measures. 

“And we have to find a way, because at stake is the unacceptable and avoidable suffering for millions of our fellow citizens – and especially children – across our communities.”

TABLE: University of York UK Fuel poverty figures with projected numbers of fuel poor households and individuals created on current trends as fuel prices increase 

 Number of households living in fuel poverty in UK% UK household in fuel povertyNumber of people in fuel poverty
Before increase2,581,0009.40%4,657,000
After 10% increase3,130,14911.40%5,647,851
After 15% increae3,349,80812.50%6,044,191
After 20% increase3,651,89013.30%6,589,249
After 25% increase3,953,87214.40%7,134,127
After 30% increase4,283,36115.60%7,728,637
After 66% increase6,350,00023.20%12,028,000

 note to desks: 

The open letter to Chancellor Sunak is to be attached:

Letter to the Chancellor: Download

Signed by:

Mark Drakeford, First Minister of Wales

Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire

Gordon Brown, Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester

Jamie Driscoll, Mayor of the North of Tyne

Nik Johnson, Mayor of Cambridge & Peterborough

Sadiq Khan, Mayor of Greater London

Dan Norris, Mayor of West of England

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of Liverpool City Region

Local authority leader signatories so far: 
Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol

Cllr David Ross, Co-leader of Fife Council

Cllr Tim Swift, leader, Calderdale MBC

Cllr Matthew Brown, Leader of Preston City Council.
Alistair Bradley Leader of Chorley Council
Cllr Anthony Hunt, Leader, Torfaen County Borough Council
Cllr James Swindlehurst, Leader Slough Borough Council
Cllr Andrew Western, Leader of Trafford Council
Cllr Ros Jones Mayor of Doncaster
Cllr Ian Ward, Leader, Birmingham City Council.
Cllr Bev Craig, Leader Manchester City Council 
Mayor Joanne Anderson, Liverpool City Council.
Cllr Graham D Henson, Leader Harrow Council
Cllr Peter Lamb, Leader of Crawley Borough Council
Cllr David Ellesmere, Leader Ipswich Borough Council
Cllr Phil Bialyk, Leader of Exeter City Council
Cllr Tricia Gilby, Leader of Chesterfield Borough Council 
Cllr Georgia Gould, leader of Camden Council 
Cllr John Clarke, leader of Gedling Borough Council.
Cllr Louise Gittins, Leader Cheshire West and Chester Council
Cllr Denise Jeffery, Leader of Wakefield Council.
Cllr Anthony Mckeown, Leader of High Peak Borough Council
Cllr Jason Brock, Leader of Reading Borough Council
Cllr Peter Marland, Leader of Milton Keynes Council.
Cllr Terry Fox , Leader of Sheffield City Council. 
Cllr Mike Wharton, Leader Halton Borough Council.
Cllr Neil Emmott, Leader of Rochdale Council 
Cllr Shabir Pandor, Leader of Kirklees Council
Cllr Doina Cornell, leader of Stroud District Council
Mayor Philip Glanville, London Borough of Hackney.
Cllr Kieron Williams Leader of Southwark Council
Cllr. Muhammed Butt, Leader of Brent Council
Cllr Arooj Shah, Leader of Oldham Council
Cllr Bob Cook , Leader of Stockton on Tees Council
Cllr Huw Thomas, Leader of Cardiff Council
Cllr Roger Truelove, Leader of Swale Borough Council
Cllr Kerrie Carmichael, Sandwell Council 
Cllr Claire Holland, Leader London Borough of Lambeth
Cllr Jan Williamson, Leader of Wirral Borough Council 
Cllr Darren Rodwell, Leader of the London Borough of Barking Dagenham
Cllr Ian Maher, Labour leader of Sefton MBC
Cllr Afrasiab Anwar MBE, Leader Burnley Borough Council 
Cllr Alan Waters, Leader, Norwich City Council,
Cllr Hazel Simmons Leader Luton Council.
Cllr Peter Mason, Leader of London Borough of Ealing, 
Cllr Steve Fritchley, Leader of the Council Bolsover District Council
Cllr Ric Metcalfe, Leader of City of Lincoln Council
Cllr Neil Moore OBE, Leader of the Vale of Glamorgan Council 
Cllr Ann Thomson, Leader of Barrow Borough Council 
Cllr, Stephen Houghton, Leader Barnsley MBC
Cllr Mohammed Khan CBE, Leader of Blackburn with Darwen Borough 
Cllr Stewart Young Leader, Cumbria County Council.
Cllr Jane Mudd, Leader of Newport City Council
Cllr Graeme Miller, Leader, Sunderland City Council
Cllr Sharon Taylor OBE, Leader of Stevenage Borough Council
Cllr. Stephen Cowan, Leader of the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham
Cllr Jas Athwal, Leader London Borough of Redbridge.
Cllr Huw David, Leader of Bridgend County Borough Council
Cllr Shaun Davies, Leader of Telford and Wrekin Council 
Cllr Brenda Warrington, Executive Leader Tameside MBC 
Cllr Chris Read, Leader, Rotherham MBC
Cllr Carole Williams, Cabinet Member, Employment, Skills & Human Resources, London Borough of Hackney
Cllr Bev Craig, Leader Manchester City Council

Cllr James Lewis Leader of Leeds City Council.
Cllr Tracey Dixon, Leader of South Tyneside Council,
Sir Peter Soulsby, Mayor of Leicester
Cllr Danny Thorpe, Leader, Royal Borough of Greenwich
Cllr Anna Smith, Leader of Cambridge City Council.
Cllr Gary Thomas, Leader, Bridgend County Borough Council
Cllr Martin Gannon Leader, Gateshead Council
Cllr Eamonn O’Brien Leader, Bury Council,
Andy Abrahams, Mayor of Mansfield

Cllr Sam Corcoran, Leader of Cheshire East

Cllr David Mellen, Leader of Nottingham City Council

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