Tom Clarke has warned that escalating energy prices are leading to “excessive” winter deaths and causing financial hardship for vulnerable groups.
He said: “People should not be suffering this winter.”
Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill’s MP spoke up for his struggling constituents in a House of Commons debate following the announcement of fuel price rises which could cost householders a further £100 this winter.
He said: “In the past decade there has been an average of nearly 30,000 excess winter deaths each year in the UK, the vast majority of which are older people.
“In many cases these deaths are preventable and that alone is a powerful argument for saying we should address the underlying problems of the high cost of energy.
“This is a real problem for my constituents. Energy bills are causing immense financial hardship as residents struggle and are the top household worry.
“People on low incomes, with disabilities, single parents and many other individuals and families are terribly worried about what is going to happen this winter.
“No other commodity price has risen so steeply as that of energy: the average household spend has increased 140 per cent over the past eight years, whereas income increased by a mere 20 per cent during the same period.
“Consumers have been hit and are powerless to do anything other than suffer in fuel poverty in increasing numbers, which is wholly unacceptable.”
Mr Clarke called for new regulation to address the “absolutely scandalous problem”, saying: “I do not believe that Ofgem has the confidence of consumers.
“There ought to be a new role for people who are given real teeth to deal with this – we find ourselves in the current situation because we have left so much to the markets.”