Government accused of abandoning poor families by slashing fuel poverty spending


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The Government has been accused of turning its back on hard-up families by slashing spending on fuel poverty.

A report published today ahead of the government’s latest fuel poverty statistics reveals that funding to help fuel-poor households is being cut by almost a third.

Meanwhile national spending on making homes more energy efficient will have been halved over the three years to 2013.

The Association for the Conservation of Energy (ACE) said that next year’s spending on improving the energy efficiency of the homes of vulnerable people is set at just £540m. But last year an all-party parliamentary group suggested that £4bn a year is needed to tackle the huge scale of the problem.

Jenny Holland of ACE said: “Fuel poverty is a scourge that the government has committed to eradicate by 2016. But instead of investing to end the problem, it has opted to slash the funding to help our most vulnerable citizens.”

The removal of the Warm Front scheme will mean that next year there will be no public expenditure in energy efficiency in England, she said. Meanwhile fuel poverty budgets in Scotland and Wales have been protected.

The report shows that the total spend on energy efficiency four years was just over £1bn. This year it has fallen to £759m.

“This is a national scandal,” said Holland. “Without more funding, fuel poor households will conclude that the Government has simply abandoned them.”