Sun, 25 Sep 2022

LONDON, England: Reports from the UK's opposition Labour Party said its leader, Keir
Starmer, will call for a freeze on energy prices this autumn.

The proposal aims to help the public cope with another expected surge in energy bills amidst the cost-of-living crisis, as well as to increase pressure on the two Conservative Party politicians
vying to become Britain's next prime minister.

The two candidates, foreign minister Liz Truss and former finance minister Rishi Sunak, have only promised more limited help on energy prices.

Starmer is expected to announce details of the proposal this week, which will call for a freeze on the expected price cap, rising from the current 1,971 pounds to more than 3,000 pounds per year beginning in October.

If the government does not provide a new support package worth billions of pounds, millions of people could be forced into poverty, UK charities have warned.

"Looking ahead to winter is frightening. We will set out how we would help people directly this winter in the coming days," Starmer wrote in the Sunday Mirror newspaper.

According to forecasting group Cornwall Insight, average annual UK gas and electricity bills will rise to 3,582 pounds in October and 4,266 pounds in January, compared to the price cap set earlier this year of 1,277 pounds.

Truss, who is the favorite to become the next prime minister, has been criticized by political opponents and charities for ruling out further "handouts," and has not committed to increasing direct support to consumers.

Last week, Sunak said with a reduction in the value-added tax, each UK household would save some 200 pounds on their energy bills.

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