The BBC reports that thousands of people are will become susceptible to ‘fuel poverty’ in the coming years. The report, carried out by The Fuel Poverty Advisory Group (FPAG), claims that more than four million people in the UK are already living in ‘fuel poverty’, and that the situation is going to get much worse.
Rising unemployment (set to reach three million shortly), in combination with rising energy prices (which have risen over 125% in the last five years), are thought to be the presiding conditions contributing to a ‘fuel poverty’ situation.
But, what are the government planning to do about it? Well, ‘fuel poverty’, is defined as having to spend more than ten percent of your income on energy bills, so obviously those on low income are highest at risk. But, the credit crunch has taken its toll on everyone, so the FPAG (fuel poverty advisory group) has urged the government to develop schemes to eradicate ‘fuel poverty’ within seven years.
However, the government says it has already spent over 20 billion on policies and programmes to help those who are in ‘fuel poverty’, since 2000, and that has still left many millions still classified as ‘fuel poor’!
Suggested courses of action for the government to take, as indicated by the FPAG, are ‘social tariffs’, restrictions on over charging on pre-payment meters, and clean energy cash back schemes. It is hoped these ideas will help people who are most vulnerable. However, we all know that the price of fuel does not come down as quick as it goes up. A majority of people are still struggling with the increases in gas and electric prices in the last year, which still remains to be rectified.