Fuel poverty package to be unveiled

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Indy Politics

The Government is finally expected to unveil a fuel poverty package tomorrow but without a windfall tax on energy companies' profits.

More than 10 million households are expected to be offered help to cut fuel bills through measures such as loft insulation, a new boiler and double glazing.

The scheme is expected to provide the poorest customers with better home insulation and help in finding the best gas and electricity tariffs, according to the BBC.

It is understood that the energy companies will also make increased contributions to the Government's carbon emissions reduction targets scheme.

The move comes after trade unions and campaigners called for a windfall tax on the energy companies' profits.

But Chancellor Alistair Darling cautioned yesterday against a windfall tax, saying that the Government's ambitions to invest in green energy and alternatives to oil and gas depended on "continuous investment over many years" from the power companies.

He said: "We have to strike a balance between long-term investment and helping people, particularly people really feeling the squeeze as a result of gas and electricity prices."

Union leaders have been calling for the Government to impose a windfall tax on energy companies amid warnings that the poor and elderly faced a choice of "eating or heating" this winter.

The TUC Congress has also pressed for utilities to be taken back into public ownership.