People around here tell me times are tough. Monthly bills are going up and people are working harder to make ends meet. That amounts to a cost of living crisis for people in Formby, Maghull, Aintree and Crosby – and across the country.
The weather has been great this summer. But as the nights draw in and winter approaches people have been telling me they are worried about how cold it will get and the choices they will have to make to pay their energy bills. Frankly I don’t think that is right. People shouldn’t have to make the choice between putting food on the table and turning on the heating.
But since David Cameron has been in Downing Street prices have risen faster than wages in 38 out of 39 months and energy bills have gone up by almost £300. When the price of energy increases energy companies pass this on but when it drops consumers don’t see their bills fall.
The problem is David Cameron can’t deal with the cost of living crisis because he stands up for a privileged few, not for ordinary families. David Cameron has cut tax for people on over £150,000 a year while raising it for everyone else.
So the announcement that Labour will freeze prices until the start of 2017 if Labour wins the next election is great news for ordinary people and for businesses. And we will break up the big energy companies so that we can all get a fair deal.
This will save a typical household £120 and an average business £1,800.
But people around here need help now.
So I’m calling on the Conservatives and their Lib Dem partners to freeze our bills now.
So far, the Lib Dem energy minister, Ed Davey has backed the energy companies and their scaremongering and he has been joined by the Tories and their friends in the media. The reality is that someone needs to stand up for ordinary people and for businesses faced with rip off energy prices. It is clear that the Tories and Lib Dems are on the side of the energy companies. The good news is that Labour is most definitely on the side of the many who have to pay their energy bills.
And I’m asking local people to sign my petition today so that the voices of Crosby, Formby, Maghull and Aintree are heard loud and clear in Downing Street. You can sign my petition atwww.labour.org.uk/freeze-that-bill or tweet a picture of your energy bill with the hashtag #freezethatbill.
Many people ask me what can be done to revitalise our town and village centres and we can all do more to support the many quality businesses we have.
Formby has a rich history which we can all celebrate when the Vikings visit on Saturday (October 5).
The Viking Medieval Market Day is at the Gild Hall in Church Road from 10am to 5pm and is a chance for visitors and locals alike to enjoy some of the Viking spirit on which Formby was founded.
Our shop keepers need support so please make every effort to visit the market and remember to shop locally not just for Viking Market Day but all year round.
See you at the market!