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MP FIGHTS FUEL POVERTY

Local MP Nigel Waterson has clashed with a Government minister in the Commons over fuel poverty amongst pensioners.  Nigel was speaking at Department of Work and Pensions Questions in his role as Shadow Pensions Minister and Shadow Minister for Older People.

Nigel asked:

“While we can agree that older people have been well advised to keep their heating on during the recent bitter weather, does the minister accept that they are dreading the bills arriving on their doormats?  Many have had to choose between heating and eating – a decision that will prove fatal for tens of thousands.  Why cannot the Government adopt our policies, including ensuring that poorer pensioners are on cheaper social tariffs, and energy efficiency improvements in every home?”

In response the Minister claimed to be tackling the problem.

Nigel commented afterwards:  “The Minister’s answer was extremely complacent.  All the official statistics show that fuel poverty amongst pensioners is rising fast.  And between 25,000 and 50,000 will die needlessly this winter because of poorly heated homes.  This is an absolute scandal in the 21st century.”

2 February 2010