Bleak budget blasted by fuel poverty campaigners

Campaigners have reacted to the Government’s “bleak” budget which failed to help people facing fuel poverty this winter.

A spokesperson for the End Fuel Poverty Coalition commented:

This is a budget that has plenty for champagne swilling, jet-set bankers. But there is nothing for people facing the choice between heating and eating this winter.

The Chancellor’s cold words for people in fuel poverty will be heard in millions of households across the country.

Coming on the back of the pitiful Winter Support Fund, revelations that funding is not helping those most in need and missing billions from the promised support for energy efficiency improvements, this is a bleak budget from the Government.

Adam Scorer, Chief Executive of Coalition members, National Energy Action, tweeted:

Campaigners at Scope, tweeted:

Other reaction from Coalition members will follow.

Coalition reveals five priorities for the Comprehensive Spending Review

The End Fuel Poverty Coalition has called on the government’s Comprehensive Spending Review to solve a problem that has plagued the country for generations.

The submission sets out how fuel poverty could be all but eradicated within the lifetime of this Parliament.

Evidence from Public Health England shows that fuel poverty puts households more at risk from the worst effects of Covid-19.

Therefore, ending fuel poverty is now an urgent public health priority, which can only be solved through economic measures.

The benefits of ending fuel poverty include a faster transition to a just net zero, the levelling up of the economy and a green stimulus to aid the recovery from lockdown.

On the other hand, with energy use rising as people stay at home more and the predicted income squeeze, it is estimated that the numbers in fuel poverty could soar by 200,000. The recent National Energy Action / Energy Action Scotland monitor revealed a significant hardship for fuel poor households in the coming winter, as a potent combination of higher energy use resulting from staying at home for longer is mixed with reductions in income.

One in three British households are already concerned about the health impacts of living in a cold home this winter. And should a second wave of Covid-19 hit during cold weather, the impact could be catastrophic for individuals and our health services.

As a result, the Coalition urges the Government to commit to five main spending priorities:

1) Rapid roll-out of large-scale energy efficiency programmes

2) Urgent delivery of government promises on tackling fuel poverty

3) This unprecedented level of investment needs to be coupled with large scale training programmes

4) Immediate steps to improve energy standards in the private rented sector

5) Fuel Poverty Debt Relief to ensure fewer people will have to choose between heating and eating this winter

The full submission can be read online: http://www.endfuelpoverty.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/End-Fuel-Poverty-Coalition-CSR-Submission-FINAL.pdf