Friday, October 17, 2008

80% of single pensioners will be in fuel poverty this winter - Webb

Figures uncovered by the Liberal Democrats show that 80% of single pensioners are likely to be living in fuel poverty this winter.

The statistics, available from the House of Commons library, were prepared by the Office of National Statistics following a request by Liberal Democrat Shadow Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Steve Webb.

Commenting, Steve Webb said:

"The soaring cost of keeping warm this winter is going to cause misery for millions of pensioners.

"These figures show that the vast majority of pensioners living on their own are going to be living in fuel poverty this winter. This is nothing short of a scandal.

"The Government must act quickly to get prices down for vulnerable customers and must greatly accelerate the pace of getting homes insulated.

"It is criminal that there are millions of draughty homes in need of insulation and thousands of unemployed construction workers, yet the Government has not put the two together on the scale that is needed."

Neath and Port Talbot have some of the poorest pensioners in Wales and therefore (as Mike German has pointed out) some of the poorest in the UK. The much-trumpeted increase in the Winter Allowance did not cover the cost of fuel steadily rising until 2007, let alone the big hike which occurred this year. Let us hope and pray for another mild winter.
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