Local activists campaign against fuel hikes

Kevin McVey, Andy Locke and John Miller of the SSP campaigning against fuel poverty.
Kevin McVey, Andy Locke and John Miller of the SSP campaigning against fuel poverty.

DRAMATIC price hikes in gas and electricity bills are the focus of campaigning by local Scottish Socialist Party members this week.

Local SSP members are claiming that the price rises are driven by a greed for profit and will add to the already high levels of fuel poverty in Scotland.

Party member Kevin McVey commented: “Over the last few months the major energy companies have been announcing huge price increases.

“Despite these companies making vast profits they are scandalously looking to make their customers pay for any increased costs in supplies. This will put significant financial pressure on people, particularly when winter comes.

“People are commenting to us when we are campaigning that they simply do not know how they will cope with these increases, particularly in a climate where the cost of living is skyrocketing and incomes are shrinking.

“These increases should not be taking place on something as essential as the energy needed to heat your home.”

The party is calling on the Scottish Parliament to intervene to cap any increases and for the energy industry to be taken out of private control.

Mr McVey added: “The Scottish Government has pledged to eradicate fuel poverty by 2014.

“That claim will be completely hollow unless they are willing to act to stop the profiteering of the power companies and prevent these increases.

“As a minimum step they should cap these increases to prevent the already shocking level of almost one in three households who are already in fuel poverty becoming even higher.

“Beyond that our campaign is calling on the energy industry to be taken out of the hands of the greedy energy companies and to be placed back into public ownership as a way to keep prices under control – and also to maximise the chances of ensuring there is proper investment in developing renewable forms of energy.”