News last week that Labour had taken a 15-point poll lead, biggest since 2013, may have surprised some but there’s a simple explanation.
People have spent the hot summer relieved at not having to think how they’ll cope when winter comes.
Later this week Ofgem, the regulator supposed to help consumers, will announce a second price rise in six months. It could take average household bills to over £4,800 per year from January.
Labour has set out to protect people from the crisis.
They’ve called on the government to stop Ofgem from raising prices and to freeze energy bills now. They’ve also recognised the impact on jobs and businesses by announcing a £1 billion fund to support energy intensive industries and an increase in rate relief for high street shops and small businesses. Inflation is now over 10%, it’s highest for 40 years, and is unlikely to fall without serious government action. Too many senior Tories, especially those responsible for running the country, have enjoyed long summer holidays, including the man who’s still supposed to be our PM.
The woman destined to succeed him has spent her time preaching tax cuts to the Tory faithful but, as polls show, many who backed Boris Johnson in 2019 know this won’t help them when the fuel bills drop.
A few months back, in my last chance to question him at PMQs, I put it to Boris Johnson that 9,000 people over age 60 died in this country last year because they couldn’t afford to heat their homes. I asked him to act to ensure that figure was reduced. He waffled but failed to give me that guarantee.
I’m backing Labour’s plan and consulting with thousands of constituents so that I can feed in about other measures needed. In times of crisis people need a government to protect them, one which isn’t afraid to challenge oil and gas giants. Labour’s poll lead is about whose side the government is on
Steve McCabe MP writes a weekly column for Birmingham Live