CAMPAIGNERS have staged a protest against soaring energy bills and corporate profiteering outside the Scottish Power headquarters in Glasgow.

After a week of temperatures falling well below freezing across Scotland, activists from Power to the People staged the demonstration on Friday to call for a price freeze on energy bills, an end to late payment fees by energy giants, and an end to prepayment meters.

The protest was held outside the entrance to the building before activists marched through the city centre. 

Unions including GMB and RMT also showed their support as chants like “Can’t pay, won’t pay” and “freeze bills not homes” were bellowed out.

The campaign was set up in June and has established multiple committees across Scotland to resist astronomical price increases.

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Jess Galloway, one of the organisers of the event, said after the two-year price freeze pledge turned out to be an “absolute con”, working-class people had to come together to make a stand.

She told The National at the demonstration: “We’re really concerned and angry about how the energy price increases are affecting our communities.

“We thought we had a victory in October with the price freeze but that turned out to be an absolute con. We’ve been out door-chapping and leafletting across the city and we know there are thousands of people who can’t pay, and we know there are seven million people across the [UK] who are in fuel poverty because of these price increases.

The National: Protesters held placards calling for a price freeze on energy billsProtesters held placards calling for a price freeze on energy bills (Image: Gordon Terris)

“I think the worst thing is the prices don’t need to be increasing. It’s just greed from these companies and you just know that every time you put on the heating, you’re making another billionaire even richer and that’s not the way it should be.

“We are showing today that when working-class people come together we can make a difference.

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“Our message is clear. We want the companies to get rid of the late fees and the standing charges – especially the late fees which is just a tax on the poorest people who can’t afford to pay their bills.”

According to the Scottish Power website, customers can be charged £10 if they fail to pay their bill after 14 days and £20 if it is still unpaid after 28 days.

The UK Government’s energy price guarantee that was introduced in October to protect households from an 80% increase in bills will now only last until April 2023.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced there would be a Treasury-led review to consider how else the Government can support households with energy bills after April – with any future support likely to be aimed at the most vulnerable.