Fuel poverty support is ten times bigger in Scotland and Wales than in England

 

Personal Finance Editor

People struggling with energy bills in England are handed only around a tenth as much Government help as their Scottish and Welsh neighbours. That shocking regional divide is unveiled in a new fuel poverty report published today.

The UK Fuel Poverty Monitor from charities National Energy Action and Energy Action Scotland reveals that in Wales and Scotland £31.78 of Government funding is available per domestic electricity consumer to improve domestic energy efficiency. But in England the figure falls to just £3.52.

“These figures are a damning indictment of the Government’s failure to tackle spiralling energy bills and invest in energy efficiency,” said Caroline Flint, Labour’s Shadow Energy and Climate Change Secretary. “The most sustainable way to cut people's energy bills is to invest in insulation and save the energy that escapes through our windows, walls and rooftops. But because of David Cameron’s cuts to the so-called green levies, nearly half a million fewer households will get help.”

Glasgow North West MP John Robertson, who sits on the Energy and Climate Change select committee, said: “There is a clear divide among the regions. My constituents obviously benefit from being part of a wider energy policy in the UK as well as benefiting from community-based projects in Scotland. Energy efficiency measures can help people facing rising energy bills and it is disappointing that the UK Government hasn’t helped those in England as much as in Scotland and Wales.”

Read more: British Gas boss warns that energy review could lead to blackouts

The report suggests that people are more likely to be in fuel poverty if they live in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland, but they are much more likely to receive support than those who are fuel-poor in England.

Norman Kerr, director, Energy Action Scotland said: “Despite policies and targets derived in Westminster impacting on the whole of the UK, there is currently no joined up approach to tackling fuel poverty across the nations.”

The report also criticises the government for taxing energy users but not using the revenue to help them. It points out that consumers are contributing billions of pounds to the Treasury through carbon taxes, VAT, and VAT applied on top of levies on electricity bills. The revenue could be used to bring all UK housing up to the standard of a new home built today, it suggests.

'The disparity in funding between England and Wales and Scotland clearly shows a much greater commitment to tackling fuel poverty exists outside of England,” said Clare Welton of Fuel Poverty Action. “Westminster may be happy to sit back and let an Ofgem investigation tinker at the edges of our broken energy system while thousands die every winter from cold homes. But it is comforting to see that elected officials elsewhere see that it is vital to fund energy efficiency and thus reduce fuel poverty.”

The report concludes that the UK Government must recognise the impact that energy policy derived in Westminster has on the rest of the UK. It warns that cutting or dramatically modifying existing energy efficiency programmes was the wrong short term solution within the 2013 Autumn Statement. Instead the UK Government should expand resources directed towards energy efficiency, particularly for low income households living in the worst properties and most deprived areas.

Voices
The Sumatran tiger, endemic to the Indonesian island of Sumatra, is an endangered species
voicesJonathon Porritt: The wild tiger population is thought to have dropped by 97 per cent since 1900
Arts and Entertainment
Beast would strip to his underpants and take to the stage with a slogan scrawled on his bare chest whilst fans shouted “you fat bastard” at him
musicIndie music promoter was was a feature at Carter gigs
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
Story line: Susanoo slays the Yamata no Orochi serpent in the Japanese version of a myth dating back 40,000 years
arts + entsApplying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
Performers dressed as Tunnocks chocolate teacakes, a renowned Scottish confectionary, perform during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014.
news
Life and Style
Popular plonk: Lambrusco is selling strong
Food + drinkNaff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
News
Gardai wait for the naked man, who had gone for a skinny dip in Belfast Lough
newsTwo skinny dippers threatened with inclusion on sex offenders’ register as naturists criminalised
News
Shake down: Michelle and Barack Obama bump knuckles before an election night rally in Minnesota in 2008, the 'Washington Post' called it 'the fist bump heard round the world'
newsThe pound, a.k.a. the dap, greatly improves hygiene
Arts and Entertainment
La Roux
music
Arts and Entertainment
Graham Fellows as John Shuttleworth
comedySean O'Grady joins Graham Fellows down his local Spar
News
people
News
Ross Burden pictured in 2002
people
News
Elisabeth Murdoch: The 44-year-old said she felt a responsibility to 'stand up and be counted’'
media... says Rupert Murdoch
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Extras
indybest
Sport
Arsenal signing Calum Chambers
sportGunners complete £16m transfer of Southampton youngster
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

ICT Teacher

£21804 - £31868 per annum: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Are you a qualified ...

DT Design and Technology Teacher

£21804 - £31868 per annum: Randstad Education Chelmsford: We are urgently for ...

Maths Teacher

£21804 - £31868 per annum: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Are you an experienc...

Junior / Graduate Application Support Engineer

£26000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful international media organ...

Day In a Page

The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on