Derek has spoken out about the cost of living in the debate on the Queen’s Speech.
After the Queen’s Speech sets out the government’s agenda, the House of Commons holds six days of debate about its general themes. Yesterday’s focus was on “Tackling Short-term and Long-term Cost of Living Increases”.
Derek’s speech focused on the cost of energy, food and housing, three of the biggest items in every household’s bills, and particularly unmanageable in Cornwall.
On energy, Derek said:
“I welcome the supercharging of the effort to boost homegrown clean energy, which will drive down costs, take the volatility out of the energy markets and cut our carbon footprint. That is all welcome, but more must be done now to help.
“We need help in our homes now.
“We also need to look closely at the use of the standing charge—a daily charge on every household—which has risen to 50p plus, putting £150 more on the bill.”
Derek has already been campaigning on the issue of Standing Charges, after a constituent told him that about cutting his energy usage back and still struggling to pay his bill. He has raised the matter with the Department for Energy, and is now taking it up with Ofgem, the independent regulator.
On food production, Derek said:
“Food prices are on the rise, but we are not seeing the same kind of supercharging in the Government’s response when it comes to increasing homegrown food production [as with energy production].
“Surely if there was ever a time to boost food production in the UK it is now.”
Derek has been speaking to farmers, fishermen and food producers in the constituency who are not working to capacity because of the costs of fuel and fertiliser.
On housing costs, Derek said:
“In my constituency, people can barely find a house to rent.... House prices have also rocketed in the south-west, and action is needed, and needed now, to address the matter.
“I welcome the fact that the Queen’s Speech includes a levelling up and regeneration Bill, but it must be a response to the housing challenges in coastal areas in particular.
“It is vital that the Government take more decisive action to support home ownership, secure a quality home for everyone who needs one and drive down the cost of those homes through good energy efficiency measures.”
“This debate allows MPs to put on record what they think about the government’s plans.
“I am confident that the government’s general direction is the right one, but I have made it clear that I want to see more action on the cost of living.”