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1 in 10 South Lakes families living in fuel poverty

June 29, 2017 3:48 PM

Data released today shows that 1 in 10 households in South Lakeland live in fuel poverty. This equates to more than 3700 South Lakes households, and over 26,000 across Cumbria. The figures show the first increase in fuel poverty since 2008. Local MP Tim Farron has blasted the figures as "shameful".

Across the North West, 12% of households are now living in fuel poverty. This is the first time since the financial crash in 2008 that the proportion of households living in fuel poverty has increased.

The average fuel poverty gap - between households' energy bills and what they can afford to pay - in the North West is £312.

The Tories have also dumped a pledge to cap energy bills from the Queen's Speech. The Prime Minister had pledged to cap bills for 17 million families on the worst-value energy tariffs, but the plan was missing from the Queen's speech and No 10 would not confirm a cap would go ahead.

Tim is calling for the Government to fund the insulation of people's homes and increase competition in the market to help reduce bills for those in fuel poverty. The Lib Dem manifesto contained a commitment to "Ensuring that four million properties receive insulation retrofits by 2022, prioritising fuel-poor households."

Tim said: "Britain is facing an energy bill crisis. Two and half million people across the country can't afford their energy bills - including one in ten here in South Lakeland. If this is not a scandal I don't know what is.

"It is shameful that Theresa May's government is doing nothing to help those in need and reduce their bills. The government must take urgent action now.

"With the recent hot weather people are not thinking about fuel poverty but as soon as the cold weather hits, many will be worrying about how they'll pay their energy bills this winter. Some of the poorest people in our society will be left with the choice between heating and eating. The government are failing in their basic duty, helping the most vulnerable."