On Monday, the nation said a fond farewell to Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The State Funeral at Westminster Abbey took place after the Lying-in-State of Her Late Majesty’s coffin in Westminster Hall. I was honoured to be one of the 140 Members of Parliament who welcomed Her Late Majesty’s coffin into Westminster Hall last Wednesday during a very moving service.
The House of Commons will return to usual business this week. On Wednesday, MPs will have the opportunity to take the oath or affirm to the new Monarch. On Friday, an announcement is expected from the Chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng.
The Chancellor’s announcement is expected to set out further details of the Energy Price Guarantee (EPG) that was announced shortly before the death of Her Late Majesty was announced on 8 September.
The plans to protect households across the Forest and the country from spiralling energy costs are welcome. The EPG will apply from 1 October, when Ofgem’s new price cap is due to come into effect and will discount the unit cost for gas and electricity use.
This means that a typical household will pay no more than £2,500 per year for each of the next two years, saving the typical household £1,000 a year. It comes in addition to the £400 Energy Bill Support Scheme.
Whilst the EPG is to primarily be delivered through limiting the price suppliers can charge customers for units of gas, the Prime Minister has also been clear that those who do not pay for mains gas will nonetheless receive equivalent support. A fund will be set up to ensure that households who have their energy supplied through other means, such as heating oil or LPG, are also protected.
It is important that off gas grid properties, of which there are many in the Forest of Dean, receive the same support as any other and I have made representations both in Parliament and to the former Chancellor directly on this point. I am glad they have been listened to.
The Government will also support all business, charities and public sector organisations with their energy costs this winter, offering an equivalent guarantee for six months.