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by Our Parliamentary reporter @TrinderMatt
TORY ministers refused to guarantee today that no-one will lose their gas supply or be forced into fuel poverty due to the energy crisis this winter.
At Prime Minister’s Questions, Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner also pressed Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab to cancel the removal of the £20-a-week uplift to universal credit.
The duo traded barbs as PM Boris Johnson is in the US to meet President Joe Biden and address the UN.
As wholesale gas prices soar amid coronavirus pandemic-related disruption and a reduction in supplies from Russia, Ms Rayner said: “The Prime Minister has said it is just a short-term problem and we will leave it to the market to fix.
“So can the Deputy Prime Minister guarantee that no-one will lose their gas or energy supply or be pushed into fuel poverty this winter?”
Mr Raab replied: “The Business Secretary [Kwasi Kwarteng] has made very clear that the energy supplies will continue, that our number one priority is to protect consumers.”
Ms Rayner went on to joke there was a “shortage of hot air this week,” with Mr Raab “doing his best” to shore up supplies in the PM’s absence.
The Ashton-under-Lyne MP also warned that the typical family is “facing a tough winter” as tax increases, including National Insurance contributions, combined with rising bills and benefits cuts will create a perfect storm.
“The choice for the Deputy Prime Minister is: will he make working people’s lives easier or harder? Will the government cancel the universal credit cut?”
Avoiding the question, Mr Raab said that the government is “taking action to take the country forward with a plan for the NHS [and] a plan for Covid.”
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