THE 80 per cent rise in the energy price cap announced on Friday will bring even more financial worry to families in the area, says Stroud District Green Party.

The new price cap, which comes into force on October 1, will be “disastrous news for many people and we are truly facing a cost-of-living emergency”, said Cllr Catherine Braun, leader of Stroud District Council and Green councillor for Wotton-under-Edge.

It follows on from the 54 per cent rise in April.

"NHS leaders have already warned about the huge toll these further price rises will have on people’s health, and the Green Party is calling for urgent support to be provided to help people meet the extra cost to stay warm through the winter this year," she said.

"Councils and many voluntary organisations are doing what they can to support people in need through this difficult time but these price rises will be ruinous for working people already struggling with increased food and petrol costs.

"More and more people will be forced to use food banks and apply for benefits.

“But it doesn’t have to be this way. There are solutions to the issues we face.

"The price of energy should be returned to where it was in October last year, to protect households from accelerating energy costs.

“The big five energy retailers should also be brought into public ownership, after they collectively made over £1 billion in annual profits ahead of the first price hike announcement earlier in the year.”

Cllr Braun added that as well as providing immediate financial help, the Government should be encouraging energy efficiency improvements.

“These make good financial as well as environmental sense, insulating homes and investing in renewables for a cheap, clean, secure energy supply,” she said. 

“The Greens are offering bold and effective policies to reduce bills and help people make ends meet.

This contrasts with the Tory leadership candidates who seem almost solely focused on tax cuts for the rich, and squeezing the valued public services that support our local communities.”