Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP Angus MacNeil says island families are paying the price for Westminster failure – amid warnings energy bills will not return to 2021 levels until around 2030 at the earliest.

While the Ofgem energy price cap has today been reduced slightly to £2,074 a year for the typical household from July, energy prices will still be around double what they were in 2021 (£1042) and they are expected to rise again in January. The figure will be even higher for island residents which has one of the highest levels of fuel poverty in the UK.

The UK government has also withdrawn the £400 energy bill rebate for households, and household incomes are falling behind the UK’s soaring inflation – leaving families worse off than they were pre-pandemic.

Commenting, Angus MacNeil MP said: “Families in Na h-Eileanan an Iar are paying the price for Westminster failure, with the typical household energy bill double what it was in 2021 and wages falling behind soaring inflation – showing exactly why Scotland needs to escape Westminster control as an independent country.

“Scotland is an energy-rich country and it’s absurd the UK government is forcing families to pay through the nose for a resource we have in abundance, while it refuses to reinvest the huge profits it is raking in from Scotland’s north sea oil and gas.

“Westminster should be using these profits to give families in Scotland an energy bill rebate – and it should match the ambition of progressive SNP government policies, like the £25 a week Scottish Child Payment, to help families struggling with the cost of living.

“The SNP is the only party in Scotland offering a real alternative to the damaging policies of the Tories and pro-Brexit Labour Party – and only a vote for the SNP at the next election can deliver the real change Scotland needs.”

Following the Ofgem announcement, Cornwall Insight warned “Despite the cap falling from the sky-high prices of the past two years, the figure remains over £1,000 per year more than the price cap levels seen prior to the pandemic… We do not currently expect bills to return to pre-2020 levels before the end of the decade at the earliest.”

Campaigners from the End Fuel Poverty Coalition also warned “People now face many more months with bills remaining stubbornly high. This will see them continue to use up their savings for everyday items, run up credit card bills, fall into debt with energy firms or turn to food banks as the cost of living crisis deepens.”