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UK government cuts support for people in fuel poverty

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The Association for the Conservation of Energy (ACE) has accused the UK government of cutting the fuel aid for the most financially needy.

The report shows that the country’s fuel poor has received 26% less money between 2009 and 2013, despite taking into account the government’s new policies, and the total amount reaching the poor now amounts to £879 million.

In what ACE claims is the first non-governmental in-depth analysis, the report claims that the budget for energy efficiency measures for the fuel poor in England has been cut by 44% to just £209 million over the same period.

The Green Deal is apparently getting a £2.9 million advertising campaign, but despite this ACE estimates that the number of fuel poor homes being helped will fall from 150,000 in 2009 to 100,000 in 2013.

According to the report there is enough revenue from carbon taxes  to put an end to fuel poverty as well as helping every home in the UK to become more energy efficient. The report was commissioned by the Energy Bill Revolution campaign – a fuel poverty alliance of charities, consumer groups, businesses and unions.

It’s calculations show that the government will raise over £2 billion in 2013 in carbon tax revenue  from an average £25 levy on an average electricity bill. By 2020, this will have risen to £4 billion as consumers pay an average £54.

“Instead of tackling the blight of fuel poverty, the Government has spent far too long twiddling its thumbs: two and a half years reviewing how fuel poverty is defined while at the same time drastically eroding budgets to tackle the problem,” says Jenny Holland of ACE. “The government must now urgently recycle carbon tax to make the homes of the fuel poor highly energy efficient. It’s time to end this national scandal.”

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