This week we had new predictions that energy bills will rise even further next year as wholesale gas prices soar. Money expert, Martin Lewis, has warned that these soaring energy bills are at a crisis point, more help is needed. He also stated how without Government intervention, it will push people into making "some awful choices". And that is absolutely correct. Energy bills are rising 23 times faster than wages. This is going to have a devastating impact on so many hardworking people.
With energy firms, Centrica and Shell, just this week reporting record profits, Labour would take immediate action by cutting VAT on home energy bills. Unlike the Conservatives, our commitments are fully funded. We would pay for it by not going ahead with the government's investment allowance and by backdating the windfall tax money back to the very oil and gas companies making these excess profits.
Second, we would deliver the long-term plan for our energy security, which has been left weakened by a decade of failed Conservative energy policy. This means rapidly investing in the clean, home-grown, cheap forms of renewable and nuclear power that can cut bills. It is a scandal that the UK is not investing in onshore wind because Boris Johnson caved to his climate-denier backbenchers.
It also means a national warm homes plan to insulate as many homes as possible before next winter. Labour’s national homes upgrade plan would save households up to £400, cut gas imports, and create good jobs across the country.
We need more than sticking plasters. Labour’s Warm Homes Plan will insulate 19 million homes, save families £400 off their bills each year, and create the jobs needed to get our economy growing.
The cost of living crisis is leaving families more worried every day, but all we get from the Tories is chaos, distraction and unfunded fantasy economics. Only a Labour government will build the high wage, high growth, low and stable inflation economy we deserve.
Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games kicks off
Yesterday, was the beginning of a momentous few weeks for our city with the Queen’s Baton Relay completing its 294-day journey across 72 nations and territories. The baton was finally opened at the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony on Thursday where The Queen’s personal message to the Commonwealth was read out to those in attendance and to the millions watching on television.
This is an exciting time for everyone in our city. The Games has already brought in huge levels of investment from Government which would not have otherwise been possible to secure, as well as securing the creation of 20,000 jobs and putting the eyes of 1.5 billion people firmly on our city.
I hope that as the Games progress, you take the opportunity to get hold of tickets to one of the sporting competitions or join part of the cultural programme with many events happening right across the city.
More Home Office Delays and Passport Waits
With the school summer break having begun, we’re firmly into holiday season. Unfortunately, as Backlog Britain takes a hold, along with GP appointments, air travel and housing registers, the Home Office has been brought to a halt. This includes the passport office where there are huge delays. The minimum service time set by the Home Office is ten weeks. However, we are seeing many cases of people waiting much longer than this.
The minimum service time is the set amount of time which a resident will have to wait before I can intervene on their behalf (unless under urgent circumstances like a bereavement). While we are seeing some passport renewals being returned sooner, I would strongly recommend that if you’re going on holiday later in the year, please apply for your passport or passport renewal as soon as possible to avoid any disappointment.
Vote for your 'Favourite Park 2022'
I’m encouraging residents to support Grove Park in Harborne as the ‘UK’s Favourite Park’ in a nationwide public vote organised by green space charity, Fields in Trust.
Once the home of the 19th century reformist Thomas Attwood, it is now a fantastic place to visit with 12 acres for residents to play, walk or rest. The Harborne park has been nominated as one of 364 parks and green spaces in the running to be awarded UK’s Favourite Park 2022. The award celebrates the contributions green spaces deliver for our neighbourhoods and communities.
Edgbaston constituency is blessed with so much green space of all descriptions, from the abundance of green, open space in Bartley Green to the more formal style of the Botanical Gardens in Edgbaston. It is fantastic to see Harborne’s Grove Park selected for this national award which, has been a sanctuary for so many during the pandemic. I now hope everyone in Harborne and across the constituency will really get behind the park and offer their support to see Grove Park awarded the UK’s Favourite Park.
You have until noon on Thursday 18th August 2022 to cast your vote.
My latest newsletter
If you are a resident in Edgbaston constituency, you should soon be receiving my latest newsletter. This is to provide you with a roundup of some of the things I have been working on, on your behalf. I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all Edgbaston constituency residents and local Labour members for their continued support, especially to those who have volunteered during the local elections and who have helped with delivering these latest leaflets. The Labour Party is built on its volunteers and campaigners, and we simply couldn’t do it without your support.
If you would like to get involved or help with future deliveries or campaigns, please visit the Edgbaston Labour website.
Preet Kaur Gill MP
Birmingham Edgbaston covering Bartley Green, Edgbaston, Harborne and Quinton