– Labour's Meg Hillier warns of potential winter fuel crisis that could affect thousands

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The well-documented recent rise in energy prices has prompted Labour to warn that thousands of UK consumers could be at risk from a “winter fuel crisis”, according to an article published by the London Evening Standard.

Speaking at the annual Labour Conference, held in Liverpool, shadow energy secretary, Meg Hillier warned: “This winter, many thousands will be unable to heat their homes,” adding: “Because of soaring prices, our fear is that this will mean more unnecessary deaths and more diseases caused by cold.”

Taking the opportunity to criticise the so-called “big six” energy suppliers, she also stated: “They may be private companies, but they should deliver a public service.”

Hillier went on to reveal that under a Labour government, the party would break the “stranglehold” currently enjoyed by the biggest companies by introducing new competition into the market.

All of the “big six” have increased their tariffs for gas and electricity; Scottish Power and British Gas' tariffs increased by the biggest percentage – with the former's gas tariffs rising by 19 per cent and electricity by 10 per cent and the latter's gas prices rising by 18 per cent and electricity by 16 per cent.

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