Scottish Conservative group leader, Neil Benny, today called on Nationalist Independent Cllr Alasdair MacPherson to apologise for misleading people on energy bills.
MacPherson, in the Stirling Observer, called on people to boycott paying their energy bills. A course of action that Citizens Advice Stirling said would lead to a worse situation for people.
In response to the "Don't Pay" campaign, Citizens Advice have said:
"People are asking if they should cancel direct debits or withhold payments to their energy supplier in light of rising prices. This will likely risk making your situation worse.
We are seeing increased demand for energy advice across the Citizens Advice network and with prices set to soar in the coming weeks and possibly top £4,200 in 2023 it is understandable that people are feeling anxious and a bit scared.
But withholding payment is likely to lead to a worse situation for people.
The most likely scenario here is getting into debt to your supplier - which will ultimately make your bills more expensive.
With costs across the board rising and a difficult winter ahead the last thing people struggling with the cost of living crisis need is more debt.
If the market ever returns to a place where switching is an option for consumers again, being in debt makes that more difficult.
There is also the possibility of the installation of prepayment meters if people withhold payments which again will mean paying more for energy."
The call came as energy bills continued to rise and direct payments from the UK Government to individuals in the Stirling area started to be made.
Speaking about the situation, Cllr Neil Benny said:
"This kind of cheap posturing from Cllr MacPherson is irresponsible and a disgrace, even from a man who was suspended for 6 months from being a councillor for his previous disgraceful behaviour. He is telling people who are anxious about energy bills to not pay them. This will lead to more debt and more problems for hard pressed families down the line, Energy bills are high and we need Local, Scottish and UK Government to help people in this, but to use the crisis and to use people's fears to score cheap political points is downright irresponsible. People who are struggling should seek advice from Citizens Advice or speak to their energy supplier directly. When even the SNP won't touch him, you know he means trouble."