Number falling behind with fuel bills soars

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The Independent Online

The number of people falling behind with fuel bills has soared during the past six months, Citizens Advice has warned.

The charity said 46 per cent more people had contacted it with problems about fuel debts during the six months to the end of September, compared with the same period last year. It said the rise continued a trend seen in recent years, with the number of people who were in debt to their fuel supplier jumping by 82 per cent since 2005-06.

Most of them are of working age, with only 5 per cent aged over 65. Eight out of 10 had incomes half the national average, with 32 per cent living off less than £400 a month, while a quarter had a disability.

David Harker, the chief executive of Citizens Advice, said: "We are already seeing large increases in the number of people in fuel debt and it is not yet winter. With fuel prices remaining at historically high levels it is essential that people get all the help that is available."