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by Louise Wilson
14 December 2022
Stephen Flynn: People are ‘genuinely terrified’ about rising energy bills

SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn at PMQs

Stephen Flynn: People are ‘genuinely terrified’ about rising energy bills

The SNP’s Stephen Flynn has blamed “decades of failed UK energy and regulatory policy” for rising bills this winter.

Raising the issue with Rishi Sunak at PMQs, he warned that “people are genuinely terrified” about the cost of bills.

But the Prime Minister insisted the UK Government was doing what it could to help people across the UK through the winter.

The typical energy bill for Scottish households is estimated to hit £3,300 per year, higher than the UK average of £2,500.

Flynn said: “Decades of failed UK energy and regulatory policy coming home to roost. Is it not the case that Scotland has the energy, we just need the power?”

But Sunak said his government “will always look after the most vulnerable in our society”. He said: “We are providing every household in this country with around £900 of support with the energy bills this winter.”

The new SNP Westminster leader also called on the Prime Minister to follow the Scottish Government’s lead in approaching the impending nurse strikes, after the latter reached a pay deal with two major unions.

Sunak was also challenged by Labour leader Keir Starmer on nurse strikes.

“All he needs to do is meet the nurses. His inaction speaks volumes,” Starmer said. He accused the PM of having gone into “hibernation”, adding: “What is the point of him and what is the point of the government he is supposed to be leading?”

The Labour leader urged Sunak to scrap non-dom status and use the money to invest in training more nurses and doctors.

Sunak defended his government’s approach to negotiations, insisting the independence pay review body was being listened to. He added billions was being invested in the NHS and in hiring new staff.

He went on to accuse Starmer of failing to take a position on the strikes. Sunak said: “If he thinks the strikes are wrong, he should say so. If he thinks it's right that pay demands of 19% are met, then he should say so. What’s weak is that he’s not strong enough to standup to the unions.”

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