SCOTLAND'S Finance Secretary has demanded the UK Government act after Ofgem announced that energy bills will likely soar by around £800 in October.

Kate Forbes made the call after the industry regulator announced that the energy price cap in the UK is expected to balloon to around £2800, calling it a "once in a generation event".

The current price cap, set in April, is £1971, which was already a £700 increase on the one before that. The energy price cap is the maximum price per unit that suppliers can charge customers.

With a recent Citizens Advice Scotland poll showing one in five Scots are already out of money before payday, the Scottish minister asked what it will take for the Tories to act.

READ MORE: UK's energy price cap expected to surge to £2800 in October, regulator warns

She tweeted: "This is unimaginably horrendous. What's it going to take for the UK Gov to act - UKG has the powers over energy regulation, the budgetary powers to substantially increase funding & the social security powers to help people BUT Tory Ministers sit on their hands as people struggle.

"We’re investing substantially in mitigating the impact - but it is mitigation rather than fixing the problem at source. E.g we’ve established the Fuel Insecurity Fund - helping those most at risk, but they are only at risk because the Tories have done nothing to regulate & help."

Forbes joined her SNP colleague Alan Brown MP in calling for the UK Government to quickly act over surging bills.

He said: "Households are already suffering from higher energy bills and food prices. This latest update that the energy price cap is expected to rise again this October to around a staggering £2,800 will be a devastating hammer blow to families.

"Many people are struggling to make ends meet and are being forced to turn to food banks and make the impossible choice of having to choose between heating or eating. Yet despite the grim warnings, the Tory government has been caught like a rabbit in the headlights with its refusal to act. The reality is the Tories are more focused on saving the Prime Minister’s skin rather than supporting families."

Brown added Ofgem has made clear that "unless the UK government urgently acts 12 million households could end up in fuel poverty".

He continued: "This is a national emergency and it's shameful that the UK government has failed to step up.

"Families cannot afford to keep waiting for the Chancellor in the hope he may bring forward measures. People need real support and they need it now.

Brown called on the Tories to announce an emergency budget to tackle the cost of living crisis and to reverse its £20-a-week cut to Universal Credit.

He said: “The Tory-made cost of living crisis is spiralling out of control and the UK government will never be forgiven for abandoning families with no help in the face of the biggest economic crisis in decades."

Talking after the Ofgem announcement, UK Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said billpayers will have to “wait and see” what extra help would be on offer to cope with rising energy costs.

“Both the Prime Minister and the Chancellor have said that there will be further announcements in respect of giving assistance to people,” he told MPs.

He told the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee that £9.1 billion had already been allocated to help with rising bills. But faced with the prospect of the price cap rising to £2800, Kwarteng was pressed on what more could be offered.

“What we see now isn’t the full picture. Both the Prime Minister and the Chancellor have said there is more to do and we have to just wait and see what is forthcoming.”

He added: “It’s a difficult time, we all know that people are under huge stress. We also know that the cost of living is a very real issue and nobody is suggesting that the Government can pay the entirety of the energy bill.

“What we are committed to is giving support and that’s what we are doing.”

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Downing Street said it acknowledged that energy prices were a “significant challenge” for UK households.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesperson said some of the help from the Government was “phased throughout the year”.

“Some of the support is designed to come in in October, £200 will be discounted from energy bills, the warm home discount will increase to £150 and be expanded to cover three million people, cold weather payments and winter fuel payments will be available again,” the spokesperson said.

The Government said it was also “actively looking at what more could be done in this space, that’s something that the Chancellor and Prime Minister are focused on”.