Tag Archives: fuel poverty

3 March 2023 – today’s press releases

  • Elderly fraud victims in Wales losing £35,000 a day to “tidal wave” of scams
  • Government’s refusal to confirm further energy support payments leaves people “living in limbo”
  • Partygate: Prime Minister must back Committee’s findings

Elderly fraud victims in Wales losing £35,000 a day to “tidal wave” of scams

Elderly fraud victims are facing a “tidal wave of scams” with losses of over £35,000 million a day, shocking new figures uncovered by the Welsh Liberal Democrats have revealed.

The party accused the Conservatives of being “asleep at the wheel” in the fight against fraud, and called for an urgent strategy to protect victims including the vulnerable and elderly from online scams.

The figures were revealed through a Freedom of Information request by the Welsh Liberal Democrats to Action Fraud, covering all fraud cases where the victim was 65 or older over the past four years. They show a staggering £51.2 million has been lost in total, meaning over-65s across Wales are losing £35,087 to fraud each day.

The analysis shows that elderly fraud is on the rise, jumping from 1,847 recorded cases in 2019 up to 3,366 cases in 2022. Financial losses were also at a new high in 2022 – with pensioners losing nearly £16.5 million, up from £6.8 million in 2021.

Since the beginning of 2019, more than 12,000 cases of fraud against pensioners have been logged in Wales.

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have criticised the Conservative Government for shirking its responsibility to tackle fraud. The Home Office has failed to publish the Fraud Strategy it promised in March 2022, which replaced 2021 plans for a national Fraud Action Plan that never materialised.

The party is demanding that the Government urgently publish its Fraud Strategy after months of delays. They are also calling for the creation of an Online Crime Agency that would coordinate work across the country on tackling online fraud.

Commenting on the shocking figures, Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds MS said:

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28 February 2023 – today’s press releases

  • Fuel poverty figures reveal over 7 million household struggling with energy bills
  • Sewage: Govt Minister refuses to protect clean water regulations

Fuel poverty figures reveal over 7 million household struggling with energy bills

New fuel poverty statistics have revealed millions of households are struggling to afford their energy bills.

The government’s annual Fuel Poverty Report showed there were an estimated 3.26 million households (13.4%) in fuel poverty in England in 2022, which is expected to rise to 3.5 million in 2023. A staggering 7.39 million (30.3%) of households in England had to spend more than 10% of income on energy costs in 2022, up from 4.93 million (20.5%) in 2021.

The Liberal Democrats are calling on the government to scrap its plans to increase average energy bills by £500 in April, and instead cut bills funded through a proper windfall tax.

Responding to the news, Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said:

These stark figures show milions of families and pensioners are struggling to afford sky-high energy bills.

It beggars belief that the Conservatives are plannng to worsen this cost of living catastrophe by hiking people’s energy bills by another £500 in April.

People in fuel poverty need support without delay. We need to cut energy bills and expand support for the most vulnerable, funded through a proper windfall tax on oil and gas giants making record profits.

Sewage: Govt Minister refuses to protect clean water regulations

Today, the Liberal Democrats held up proceedings in the Committee Stage of the Retained EU Law Bill to save regulations that protect both swimmers and wildlife from sewage and other water pollution.

The Bathing Water Regulations and Water Framework Directive are both at risk of being scrapped under the Government’s new Retained EU Law Bill, which aims to remove hundreds of pieces of legislation from UK law.

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2 November 2022 – today’s press releases

  • Sunak at COP27: PM embarrassed by Boris Johnson’s attendance
  • Welsh Government Must Do More to Combat Fuel Poverty
  • Matt Hancock should resign and trigger by-election
  • Welsh Conservatives Dysfunctional, Divided and Ineffective
  • Welsh Liberal Democrats – Welsh Government Must Change Their Mind on COVID Inquiry

Sunak at COP27: PM embarrassed by Boris Johnson’s attendance

Responding to the news that Rishi Sunak will now be attending COP, Liberal Democrat Climate Change Spokesperson Wera Hobhouse MP said:

This whole debacle has shown the environment is simply not a priority for Rishi Sunak. He’s only going after being embarrassed by Boris Johnson’s attendance.

We need action rather than just attendance from the Prime Minister. Building more renewables, the cheapest and most popular form of energy, and insulating our cold and draughty homes will accelerate progress towards net-zero, cut energy bills and increase the UK’s energy security.

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Sunak shows he is “out of touch” on fuel poverty figures

Responding to the Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s failure to answer how many people are being pushed into fuel poverty on the BBC’s Sunday Morning show, Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson Christine Jardine said:

Rishi Sunak doesn’t even care enough to find out how many people he is condemning to fuel poverty. It shows he is completely out of touch with families worried sick about how to cope with soaring energy bills.

People are desperate for help but the Conservatives’ response is to clobber them with an unfair tax rise.

The Chancellor should use this week’s Spring Statement to put money back into people’s pockets,

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Millions face food or fuel choice as energy bills set to soar

There is nothing new about the fuel poverty issue. But this year, with retail prices and energy prices surging, and pop up energy suppliers failing, keeping people warm should be soaring up in the political agenda. But fuel poverty remains in the margins of Westminster thinking. Perhaps that will change today with a report from the Resolution Foundation warning that “2022 is set to be the ‘year of the squeeze'”.

The failure of the UK’s privatised and badly regulated energy market to anticipate and react to supply shocks including the surge in wholesale gas prices is shocking. The problem has been made worse by our country’s abysmal failure to reduce energy use by insulating homes. Vulnerable people shiver under blankets while the precious and expensive energy they pay for heating seeps out through the walls, doors and windows and vents through the roof.

The Liberal Democrats are calling for the Warm Homes Discount to be doubled and expanded to support vulnerable households with their energy bills throughout the winter months. Ed Davey said:

“The Conservatives have totally failed to tackle the problem. They’ve scrapped insulation programmes that would have reduced people’s bills, cut support for the most vulnerable whilst increasing the UK’s dependence on imported gas, making our country more vulnerable too.”

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How to help others with heating costs this Winter

So my dogs got me out of bed at 7:34 this morning. By 7:46, I had joined all the people on social media who have been announcing that they had put their heating on. As an added bonus, the timer now shows the correct time and day for the first time in years after I finally figured out how to change the day.

This simple act is one which so many will have to put off for as long as possible because they simply can’t afford to.

People on the lowest incomes are facing a nightmare Winter of rising energy costs and the ending of the Universal Credit uplift. The end of the furlough scheme puts 110,000 jobs at risk, as Christine Jardine pointed out the other day in a last ditch attempt to get Rishi Sunak to see sense.

The rise in the energy price cap has a hidden extra for the poorest. Those on prepayment meters, usually the poorest in the least well insulated rented properties, pay even more. The BBC reports:

  • Those on standard tariffs, with typical household levels of energy use, will see an increase of £139 – from £1,138 to £1,277 a year – to their bill

  • People with prepayment meters, with average energy use, will see an annual increase of £153 – from £1,156 to £1,309

Local councillors, campaigners and MPs will likely be contacted by constituents who are really struggling, so I thought it might be useful to set out some of the sources of help and advice for them.

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Wera Hobhouse speaks out on fuel poverty

Speaking in a House of Commons debate on fuel poverty on Thursday, Wera Hobhouse, Lib Dem MP for Bath, said no one should have to make the choice between feeding their family or heating their home. The pandemic has made things even worse. People working from home faced an extra £16 a month on energy costs, adding up to £195 a year for those on poor value tariffs. She said the clearest example of the Government’s failure was the scrapping of the green homes grant only five months after it was introduced with only 6% of the budget spent.

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The Independent View:  How to bring  an end to cold homes

respublica_logo_hi_res1 in 10 households in the England are in fuel poverty. This is national scandal which we need to address.

The coalition has made progress, improving the energy efficiency of over a million homes, but as the proposed ‘Green Homes Bill’ in the Liberal Democrat manifesto recognises, much more can be done to cut energy bills for the fuel poor and help bring an end to our cold homes crisis.

The current energy efficiency scheme aimed at the fuel poor, ECO (the Energy Company Obligation) in its current form is not up to the job of responding to the scale of the challenge which confronts us. We need to go further to ensure the most vulnerable in our society are not faced with the unenviable choice between heating and eating.

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Ed Davey writes … Warmer, cheaper, greener homes for people in rented properties

warmer homesToday marks a landmark achievement for Lib Dems in government. Up to 1 million tenants renting energy inefficient leaky homes will be able to benefit from new regulations and so enjoy warmer homes and cheaper energy bills.  Clearly this will particularly help the fuel poor: those living in the leakiest privately-rented homes already need to spend an average £1,000 a year more to keep warm compared to the average home.

These new regulations will deliver two important changes:

  • From April 2018 private landlords will not be able to rent out properties which do not meet minimum energy efficiency standards; and
  • From April 2016 residential private landlords can’t unreasonably turn down a tenant’s request for energy efficiency improvements. This will mean landlords have to accept the request if they can get help through widely available support like Green Deal finance,  the Energy Companies Obligation (ECO), or grants from the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund.
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Ed Davey writes… Delivering on climate change & delivering on fuel poverty

Ed Davey - Some rights reserved by Liberal DemocratsI write this while on a visit to India. A few weeks ago I was in the US, and I’ve just left China. Why? These three countries are the world’s biggest emitters and the series of meetings I’m having all focus on paving the way for a global climate change deal next year. In the UK, and with our partners across the EU we are gaining momentum for an ambitious deal, which I hope will result in a domestic …

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Ed Davey writes… Lower energy bills – with good deal for the fuel poor, green energy and the green deal

Energy-bills-006Energy bills are a hot political topic. Since 2005, energy bills have almost doubled at a time when many people’s incomes have barely risen. The cause of these rises has been almost entirely rising wholesale gas prices on international markets. Yet despite that and even though the cost of government policies only represents 9% on the average bill, it is right the Government has closely scrutinised our policy costs, and found a way to reduce them, to deliver an average saving of £50.

The fact we have done so whilst protecting …

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LibLink: Ed Davey – Our £1,000 giveaways will help with rising bills

On the off-chance that Voice readers missed The Sun’s interview with Lib Dem energy and climate change secretary Ed Davey on Friday, here’s an excerpt:

In a grim admission to millions of hard-pressed Brits, Energy Secretary Ed Davey said ministers cannot reverse rising global fuel prices. But he insisted that they can help to ease the blow for millions of households hit by the global trend. In a bid to placate furious consumers, he today

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LDVideo: Davey on energy policies and climate change action

Lib Dem energy and climate change secretary Edward Davey was asked this week by Andrew Neil why people were being asked to pay more for their power while many were struggling. He said it was “right to pursue climate change policies” and told Andrew Neil that prices of onshore, offshore and solar renewable sources were “coming down fast”. You can watch the interview here:

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Will you support the Reheat Britain campaign?

Liberal Democrat MP Richard Younger-Ross has tabled an Early Day Motion (EDM) to support the Reheat Britain campaign for a boiler scrappage scheme. An unlikely coalition of plumbers and builders’ merchants have teamed up with environmentalists to form the Reheat Britain campaign – just about the most brilliant piece of joined up thinking this side of the last Liberal government.

The campaign was started by Mick Williams, who runs a chain of plumbers’ merchants in the South of England. Inspired by the government’s car scrappage scheme, Mick saw that the building and plumbing industries also needed help from a similar …

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Evan and David: showing what liberalism is all about

There are times it’s good to be a Liberal Democrat. Take, for example, last December’s Private Members’ Bills ballot for the 2008-09 Parliamentary session. Four Lib Dem MPs were drawn in the top 20, with David Heath and Evan Harris in the top five. David announced the subject of his bill last week: ending fuel poverty.

And yesterday, as widely trailed in the media, Evan announced what he would devote his bill to – reversing centuries of discrimination against Catholics and women under the Act of Settlement and other enactments. Here’s an excerpt from Evan’s press …

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David Heath announces private member’s bill to end fuel poverty

As blogged here back in December, four Lib Dem MPs were drawn in the top 20 for the Private Members’ Bills ballot for the 2008-09 session. David Heath won second place, and has today announced that he will be bringing forward a bill on ending fuel poverty, the proposals for which formed part of the Lib Dems’ Green Road out of Recession package.

The Fuel Poverty Bill will bring in two measures:
• A major energy efficiency programme to bring existing homes up to the current energy efficiency levels enjoyed by modern homes; and
• Social tariffs to …

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