East Renfrewshire’s MP has urged the UK Government to scrap the energy price cap before a planned increase comes into force later this week.

Kirsten Oswald said the move will support cash-strapped residents in her constituency who are struggling to cope with soaring energy costs.

It is expected that the price cap will rise to £3,500 for the average household on Friday – up from the current figure of £1,971.

Ms Oswald, of the SNP, also wants the UK Government to double the energy grant being given to all households to £800 and ensure that all payments are made before the beginning of October.

A recent study found that more than 70% of people living in Scotland are expected to fall into fuel poverty by January.

Ms Oswald told the Barrhead News: “Whilst the UK Tory Government are distracted with their leadership contest, people the length and breadth of the country are already feeling the immense pressure of spiralling energy bills.

“The UK Government must act decisively now. They have the powers to scrap the energy price cap, to double the energy grant and to introduce a specific energy price cap for small and medium-sized businesses.

“These measures could be paid for by expanding the windfall tax that currently only applies to oil and gas producers to include corporations like Amazon that made excessive profits during the pandemic.”

A UK Government spokesperson said: “We are providing a £400 discount on energy bills this winter and £1,200 of direct support for the most vulnerable households.

“While no government can control global gas prices, over 22 million households are protected by the price cap, which continues to insulate households from even higher prices.”