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Thousands of people in Hinckley and Bosworth face fuel poverty

November 10, 2008 12:00 AM

Local Liberal Democrats have warned that urgent action is needed to help local people facing fuel poverty this winter.

Figures released in a parliamentary answer on Tuesday put the number of households in fuel poverty in Hinckley and Bosworth at 2,500.

Hinckley and Bosworth Liberal Democrats parliamentary spokesman Michael Mullaney said, "These figures show how urgent it is for action to be taken to support local people struggling to pay their fuel bills. In the 21st century we should not have a situation where some people are having to choose between heating and eating."

The Liberal Democrats are calling for

· Energy companies to be made to invest £500m a year into a rolling programme to make sure homes are properly insulated

· Billing rules should be changed so that the first units of energy people use are no longer the most expensive. Essential energy should be the cheapest, while bigger users pay more.

· Requiring energy companies to roll out social tariffs to over two million vulnerable customers nationally this would reduce fuel bills for some of the poorest customers in our area.

· Installing smart meters in homes, which display real time consumption costs

Michael Mullaney continued "What is really concerning is that the most recent figures the government had for people living in fuel poverty were from 2003. If there were 2,500 households in our area living in fuel poverty then, how many more are facing it this winter, now that fuel prices have rocketed and we are going through a financial crisis?"