Rachael Maskell, MP for York Central, welcomed pre-payment meter announcement in today’s budget, but expressed shock at chancellors Investment announcement that leaves York out in the cold.
Following a campaign by the MP and anti-poverty campaigners on the pre-payment meter scandal, the Chancellor, finally, announced a ban on charging poorer families on prepayment meters paying a higher tariffs for their energy. The MP welcomes this announcement, but notes that compensation to these households should now follow.
In contrast, the MP was shocked and concerned to find, that unlike South and West Yorkshire, the Government’s “radically slimmed down investment plan” includes no guaranteed investment for York or our region, despite the clear potential of growth clusters around BioYorkshire, rail technology and the digital creative sector.
Rachael Maskell MP for York Central says:
“This winter, I led the way in calling for an end to the pre-payment scandal where the poorest households have been paying the most for their energy. I am glad that the government has finally listened, and will outlaw this terrible practice, but the delay in this decision has caused misery for 4-million families, who have been left to suffer this winter, and compensation to them should now follow.
“The chancellor claims he wants to be creating a science and technology superpower, but you don’t achieve that by shooting yourself in the foot.
“In York we think big, we plan hard, we build strong relations and partnerships, attract the very best of brains and determine the greatest opportunities. Today, the Government could have chosen to unlock our potential, instead we learn they are not backing us and is selling our young people short.
“BioYorkshire, our rail tech sector and our emerging digital creative cluster are all poised to expand and create a step-change in the economic future of our city and region, but unlike neighbouring West Yorkshire and South Yorkshire, we have been passed over for transformative investment.
“Today’s budget was an opportunity to get us off the path of managed decline with bold investments in places like York, but again they have let us down. Labour’s Green Prosperity Plan – an active partnership with business – is the best and quickest route out of this low productivity, low ambition rut this country is in, and will unlock the growth we want to see right here in York.”