Jo wants protection for constituents struggling to meet central heating costs
Jo Swinson MP has pressed Energy minister Malcolm Wicks to act over the spectre of ‘fuel poverty’.
Speaking in the House of Commons on Tuesday, Jo called for measures to safeguard people’s ability to heat their homes in the face of rising fuel prices.
“With winter fast approaching, the huge hikes in fuel prices that took place over the summer months are a concern in many households. For some people, a change in fuel prices makes the difference between heating their home or not, and many of those worst hit by rising fuel prices are pensioners.
“In recent years, there has been a declining trend in fuel poverty, which we should be positive about. In Scotland, there was a drop of 50 per cent in fuel poverty between 1998 and 2002. However, recent double-figure percentage rises in energy costs mean that those households that have escaped the fuel poverty trap may be plunged back into fuel poverty this winter.
“Schemes such as the Central Heating Programme, which installed central heating in Scotland’s pensioner households, without means testing and regardless of the benefits that they received, have been a success. The Warm Deal has also enabled many people to insulate their homes properly – saving energy and money. The Government must make sure plans are in place to cope with the extra sufferers of fuel poverty that are likely to be created by rising energy prices.”
Jo also raised the issue of energy generation, calling for more progress to be made on renewable energy sources to reduce dependence on gas and oil in the longer term.