Charity Slams Energy Firms Over Help For Poor

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Charity Slams Energy Firms Over Help For Poor

Post by Guest on Wed Jan 04, 2012 10:26 am

Thousands of families have missed out on a scheme to help save £120 on home heating costs because of a funding shortfall by energy companies, a charity has warned.

According to Save the Children, the Government's scheme for help with bills currently reaches just 3% of families at risk of fuel poverty, because the firms have not committed enough funds this year.
Some of Britain's 800,000 poorest families qualify for a £120 fuel bill discount under the Warm Homes Discount scheme, the charity said - but a "huge" funding shortfall means only 25,000 families will get it.
The charity's No Child Left In The Cold campaign is calling on energy companies and the Government to fill this funding gap and improve awareness, so all eligible families receive the discount.
Chief executive Justin Forsyth said: "It's unacceptable that 97% of the UK's poorest families who need help heating their homes this winter will get nothing because energy companies have not put up nearly enough money.

Poor families were expected to save more than £100 on home heating costs

"Without this help the choice for parents is stark: cut back on food, get into debt or risk their children's health because they can't afford to keep them warm.
"The scheme urgently needs millions more from the energy companies, or the cost will be counted in children's futures."
The charity said the scheme grants a rebate to eligible households of £120 in the first year - winter 2011/12 - £130 in year two, £135 in year three and £140 in year four on their energy bills.
But it is "fundamentally flawed" because it does not require the energy companies to provide enough funding to support all households on low incomes and at risk of fuel poverty.
"Despite research which shows that the risk of living in fuel poverty is almost the same for low income families as it is for pensioners, the Government has decided that only poorer pensioners will form the 'core group' automatically eligible for support," it said.
The Government estimates the scheme is worth £1.1bn between 2011 and 2015, and capable of helping around two million households.
Meanwhile a report by The Institute for Fiscal Studies claimed a couple with two children will be £1,250 a year worse off by 2015.
The study, commissioned by the Family and Parenting Institute said families would "shoulder the burden of austerity".
Lone unemployed parents are set to be particularly badly hit, losing £2,000 of their annual income, representing a 12% drop.
RECO

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Re: Charity Slams Energy Firms Over Help For Poor

Post by Guest on Wed Jan 04, 2012 10:27 am

So much for Cameron's big society eh!?

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Re: Charity Slams Energy Firms Over Help For Poor

Post by Guest on Wed Jan 04, 2012 12:58 pm

Nems Again wrote:So much for Cameron's big society eh!?

The only thing he is big on is ruining people's lives!

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Re: Charity Slams Energy Firms Over Help For Poor

Post by Guest on Thu Jan 05, 2012 6:31 pm

I have to admit to knowing nothing about this

Is this a Government Scheme voluntarily funded by the energy companies? scratch

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Re: Charity Slams Energy Firms Over Help For Poor

Post by Guest on Thu Jan 05, 2012 6:41 pm

Feelthelove wrote:I have to admit to knowing nothing about this

Is this a Government Scheme voluntarily funded by the energy companies? scratch

It was supposed to have been worked out as a voluntary contribution to the 'big society' by the energy companies, but they put a pittance in, so it has fallen flat on its face.

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Re: Charity Slams Energy Firms Over Help For Poor

Post by Guest on Thu Jan 05, 2012 6:48 pm

sassy1261 wrote:

It was supposed to have been worked out as a voluntary contribution to the 'big society' by the energy companies, but they put a pittance in, so it has fallen flat on its face.

I'm not really surprised if it's on a voluntary basis, shareholders or the UK's poorest families with no heating? Which would they choose? No

Can they put in any amount they want? Surely it should be based on a percentage of profits? confused

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Re: Charity Slams Energy Firms Over Help For Poor

Post by Guest on Thu Jan 05, 2012 6:50 pm

Feelthelove wrote:

I'm not really surprised if it's on a voluntary basis, shareholders or the UK's poorest families with no heating? Which would they choose? No

Can they put in any amount they want? Surely it should be based on a percentage of profits? confused

I would have thought that would be a very intelligent way to go about it, but of course they didn't!

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