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Farron reacts angrily as 'Warm Homes Bill' blocked by Government

February 20, 2009 3:00 PM

Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron reacted angrily to the Government's blocking of today's parliamentary bill aimed at ending fuel poverty.

The failure of Conservative MPs to turn up and support the bill and the Labour ministers decision to 'talk it out' and these prevent it going to a vote, means that this important Bill will not become law.

After the debate in parliament Mr Farron said:

"Millions of people across Britain are struggling to afford to heat their homes, including four out of five single pensioners and I'm disgusted that other MPs connived to make sure that people are kept in virtual poverty.

"The Fuel Poverty Bill was proposed by Liberal Democrat MP David Heath and would have delivered a massive home insulation programme which would have halved the energy needed to heat the average home. And it would have ended the scandal of those who use pre-pay meters - generally the least well-off - paying higher rates for their gas and electricity.

"The Bill had the enthusiastic support of organisations that represent the vulnerable, from Age Concern to Disability Alliance to the Child Poverty Action Group. And because it would have also cut harmful carbon emissions it also has the strong backing of environmental campaigners like Friends of the Earth.

"That is why I cleared my diary to enable me to be in Parliament on March 20th to vote for the bill and help ensure it passed its first hurdle. It is a sad indictment that Labour and Conservative MPs failed to give the bill the support it needed. The battle to protect those in fuel poverty in South Lakeland must go on."