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Rural areas hit as heating oil price rockets

April 27, 2022 2:25 PM
By Lib Dems

About 12% of families* in Wiltshire rely on heating oil to keep their homes warm, meaning they aren't protected by the energy price cap and are vulnerable to soaring prices.

Prices of heating oil have more than doubled to around 95p a litre, compared to 45p in August 2021. It means the cost of heating oil for the average household is expected to increase by between £700 and £1,700 this year.

The government has refused to cap prices for heating oil. In response to a recent parliamentary question, minister Greg Hands (Con) said: "A price cap is not necessary as consumers can shop around and switch suppliers more easily than for gas and electricity."

The Liberal Democrat rural cost of living rescue package would include a cap on heating oil costs to support homes off the gas grid. Under the party's proposals, the government would step in to cover the cost if oil goes above a set price, protecting families from soaring prices and preventing small business suppliers from going bust.

The Liberal Democrats are also proposing an emergency tax cut, saving families an average of £600 each by slashing VAT from 20% to 17.5%.

*Source: Office for National Statistics - November 2021.