The fabric of Britain as we know it is being ripped apart. So much is changing, almost behind our backs, we haven't got time to notice what is happening to us. And it is happening fast.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Let's be glad the weather has been unseasonably warm. We can't afford it to get cold.

More than 5 million households in England are now in fuel poverty. In other words, they have to spend 10% or more of their income to achieve adequate warmth and light.

The Government has a statutory obligation to eliminate fuel poverty by 2016, but the way the figures are rising makes it look like this will be impossible to achieve.

And current pressures on the incomes of the lowest paid in our society can only mean that more and more households fall into fuel poverty. For every 1% rise in prices, apparently, 40,000 more people are plunged into fuel poverty. Yet the energy companies continue to raise prices. British Gas raised the price of gas and electricity by 18% and 16% in a year when they reported annual pre-tax profits of £1.9bn earlier this year - their highest ever.

Having to make the choice between fuel or food is not one that we should have to contemplate in the 21st century. Surely?

Want to do something?

AgeUK are asking for YOUR support - ask your MP to sign the winter pledge via their website - Their campaign doesn't just affect the elderly but anyone who struggles to afford winter heating costs. Winter deaths ARE avoidable!

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  1. That is really terrible.

    My mother told me that they have cut the winter heating allowance for pensioners by £50 this year. Thankfully they are able to make up the difference, but some are already struggling on a low pension.

  2. They took out the automatic cold weather payment (below 0 for 7 days) for severely disabled people a few years back. Last time we got it, having kept the bills up all winter, I was then able to buy a coat for myself. Such luxury!

  3. I was in a similar position last winter, Anonymous, wrt the cold weather supplement on ESA. For the few weeks I qualified, that £25/wk was a godsend - made the difference between maintaining the house at freeze setting (water froze indoors at one point!) and actually feeling like I was at 'home'.

    My ATOS review was at the turn of the year. My claim was denied, of course; I appealed, of course, and five months later the tribunal reversed ATOS's decision. From January until the tribunal, I was on 'emergency' payments ... and so didn't qualify for the cold weather supplement. In consequence, I was £50 a week worse off - a 40% cut - during the coldest weeks of winter.

    Since cold weather payments withheld pending appeal are not reimbursed later, I couldn't even afford to borrow money for heating.

  4. A quick reminder to people that you can use to easily find & email your MP :)



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