THE UK Government is being urged to introduce a tariff to assist disabled people with their energy bills.

With energy bills still far higher than they were before the cost of living crisis, the SNP have called on UK ministers to consider a social energy tariff.

Such a tariff would give those who need it most a discount on their gas and electricity bills. 

The party cited recent analysis from disabled charity Scope, which revealed that households with at least one disabled adult or child face additional costs of around £975 per month compared to non-disabled households.

The average was even higher when there were two disabled people and two children in a household, rising to an eye-watering £1248 per month.

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Marion Fellows MP, who has led the calls for a social energy tariff with a bill launched in the House of Commons earlier this month, said a tariff wouldn’t just go far in supporting households, but make "economic sense" given the exorbitant amount the NHS spends treating patients suffering because of damp or cold homes.

The NHS is estimated to spend £1.4 billion annually on treating illnesses associated with living in cold or damp housing.

When wider societal costs are considered, such as healthcare, that figure rises to £15.4 billion, according to the House of Commons Library.

Westminster's cost of living crisis has forced millions of households to reckon with higher mortgage payments, energy bills and food costs while disproportionately impacting households with disabled people,” she said.

“This UK government has so far refused to do what’s right to support people through a mess the Tories made - that must change with the Chancellor’s budget.

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“By introducing a social energy tariff, the UK government would not only support struggling households, they’d help ease the pressure on the NHS who are spending over £1 billion a year treating patients who are suffering from illnesses brought about by living in damp or cold homes.

“Scotland is an energy rich country with natural resources in abundance, no household should be facing fuel poverty – but Westminster is holding us back by raking in the profits our resources have generated and by refusing to devolve energy powers.

“If the Chancellor won’t do the right thing it will once again prove how out of touch this Westminster government is, and show exactly why Scotland needs a strong team of SNP MPs to stand up for ordinary people and our values.”

It comes ahead of Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s Spring Budget on Wednesday, which will his last before the next General Election.