Saturday, December 31, 2016

Hot air from politicians ignites fuel poverty debate (Again)

Aspiring politicians like to be seen as supporting families, but the reality is far different. 'Soaring energy bills are forcing one in four mothers to turn off their heating in the depths of winter in order to afford food for their children.

 Fuel poverty is resulting in thousands of families resorting to wearing extra clothes and using blankets in their homes. More than half of families turn off the heating in their houses when the children are out, while 45 per cent of adults keep warm using blankets or duvets during the day, according to a survey. ..... A shocking 23 per cent of families are already having to choose between buying food or using heating, according to a survey by the Energy Bill Revolution campaign' .

 More than 2.3 million families are living in fuel poverty in England – the equivalent of 10% of households, according to government statistics.

 Almost 60,000 households in Birmingham alone cannot afford to heat their homes. The figures from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy show the West Midlands city is worst affected, with Leeds, Cornwall, Manchester and Liverpool also in the top five local authorities where households face “eat or heat” choices in winter.

 However, rural areas of England are proportionally the worst affected, with more than 20% of households on the Isles of Scilly classified as fuel poor. Other badly affected areas include Eden in Cumbria, Richmondshire and Ryedale in North Yorkshire, and West Devon.

 Fuel poverty is calculated by gauging if a household’s income would fall below the official poverty line after spending the actual amount needed to heat the home. The average fuel poverty gap of these households – that is, the amount needed to escape fuel poverty – is £371 a year, the latest figures indicate, with those in privately rented properties hit hardest.
The response from politicians are predictable, Clive Lewis, the shadow business secretary, said the figures showed the Tories had to take action to tackle the tariffs of the big six energy companies.

“Under the Tories’ lack of an energy plan, Britain is facing an energy bill crisis, with over 2 million families who can’t afford their energy bills,” said the Labour MP.

“The government must act now on the monopoly of the big six in the energy market and tackle the scandal of fuel poverty. A Labour government will deliver clean energy and curb energy bill rises for households.”
So Labour promise reform to tackle the un-reformable market.
 This month, the business department said it would publish an energy supplier league table to instantly show consumers where they could save money on fuel bills. Customers should have the ability to access their energy usage data quickly and easily from their energy companies, the government said, to allow them to use price comparison sites to switch tariffs.

Announcing the measures, the business secretary, Greg Clark, said: “Millions of people across Britain continue to pay too much for their energy. The measures announced are a positive step to help more people benefit from increased choice and competition.
..and the conservatives promise more of the same under the illusion of choice.

 Warm shows of affection by politicians won’t heat up your kid's bedroom. A new society of production for use and free access will feed , clothe , shelter and heat us, to enable all of the worlds people to reach their full potential.

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