Monday, 17 December 2012

Fuel poverty 'could hit another 300,000' people



Fuel poverty 'could hit another 300,000' people

Price hikes will push another 300,000 people into fuel poverty by Christmas and 9 million homes could be in fuel poverty by 2016, according to the Fuel Poverty Advisory Group.
While the government says it is acting to reduce energy prices, new figures show price hikes will push another 300,000 people into fuel poverty within weeks.

"With a cold winter, welfare reforms cutting incomes, and all at a time of austerity measures and other rising household costs, the plight of the fuel poor has never been more serious,” said Derek Lickorish, chairman of the Department of Energy-funded group Fuel Poverty Advisory Group.

Millions are living in misery due to high energy bills, he said. Nearly half of the UK's fuel poor households are pensioners, a third of homes house people with a disability or illness, 20 per cent include a child aged five or under and one in 10 house someone aged 75 or over.


300,000 more homes in fuel poverty

Some 300,000 more homes are likely to have been pushed into "fuel poverty" by Christmas amid soaring energy prices, an advisory body has warned.

The Fuel Poverty Advisory Group (FPAG) urged Prime Minister David Cameron to take stronger action to ensure there is a more widespread and ambitious effort to tackle "spiralling" fuel poverty levels. It said the latest round of energy price rises has increased the average annual energy bill by 7%, taking it to £1,247 for direct debit customers and £1,336 for cash and cheque customers.

These increases are likely to have pushed a further 300,000 households into fuel poverty and estimates have already shown that over nine million households could be living in fuel poverty by 2016, the FPAG said.

The FPAG said the Government should create a cross-departmental group on fuel poverty to ensure a joined-up approach as well as creating a new duty for local authorities to meet fuel poverty targets. It said the Government should also carry out an urgent impact assessment of welfare reforms on fuel poverty.





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Mental health problems are extremely common across society, with one in four of us experiencing them in any year. Despite being so common, people from all communities will still experience discriminatory attitudes and behaviours that can prevent people from speaking out, seeking support and playing full and active roles in our communities. The impact of mental health stigma and discrimination will vary between communities as mental health has a cultural context that affects the way communities talk about the subject and engage with people who have mental health problems. In some cultures depression, for example, doesn't exist and in others an experience of a mental health problem can be attached to a sense of shame.

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