John Healey has written to the Chancellor urging him to act now to help people deal with sky high energy costs.

In the letter to Rishi Sunak John has set out how the government could make changes to lower bills ahead of the Spring budget which is due next month.

Latest research by the Labour Party shows over 17 thousand homes in Wentworth and Dearne would save up to £600 over a year if the government backed the proposals.

It comes as latest figures from YouGov show that more than a third of Britons can’t afford to heat their home to a comfortable level.

The figures also show that 43% of people with household incomes between £15,000 and £34,999 are also struggling to keep their homes warm.

To address the immediate crisis Labour would bring in fully funded measures now to reduce the expected price rise in April – saving most households in Wentworth and Dearne around £200 or more.

But the party would also increase and expand the Warm Home’s Discount, targeting extra support for working families, pensioners and the lowest earners, saving 17,244 households in Wentworth and Dearne up to £600 off bills in total.

John said: “Too many people – including those in work – are facing the daily agony of deciding between heating and eating. Latest research from YouGov shows more than one third of Britons can’t afford to fully heat their home. They rightly expect the Government to act.

“Hard working people, families, businesses and pensioners are taking the brunt of a decade of mismanagement by the Conservatives when it comes to energy policy – failing to invest in renewables and new nuclear. They’ve cut gas storage in this country, leaving us uniquely exposed to global shocks and failed to regulate energy companies properly, leaving households exposed to the costs of their collapse.

“The Government is doing nothing to deal with the crises in energy costs, social care for the elderly, waits for NHS treatment or their own Tory tax rises coming down the track. These are the things that are worrying people most and the Government is failing on all fronts.”

Labour’s fully-costed package to keep energy bills low would be achieved through scrapping VAT off home energy bills for a whole year – alongside focused and targeted support through increasing and expanding the Warm Homes Discount to 9.3 million people.

This would help the average household with around £200 off bills, whilst also delivering targeted and focused support for those who need it most – including low earners, pensioners and working families – with up to £600 in total off their bills.

The plans have been backed by a number of leading civil society organisations including the Trade Unions Congress (TUC), Save the Children, Fuel Poverty Action, Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace UK who have insisted that ministers must take action to deal with the looming cost of living crisis.