People are paying for fuel poverty with their lives

People are paying for fuel poverty with their lives

People in Bradford are paying for fuel poverty with their lives, the House of Commons has been told this afternoon.

Speaking a little while ago in a Commons debate on energy prices, Bradford South MP Judith Cummins called on the Government to act to put an end to the situation. You can watch Judith’s speech by clicking here.

Judith said: “Living in a cold home leads to premature death during the winter months. The rate of premature death in Bradford – for the period 2010 to 2013 – was over 22%. Five per cent higher than for the Yorkshire and the Humber region and for England as a whole.

“People are literally paying for fuel poverty with their lives.

“And this situation must not go on. This Government must take action to tackle fuel poverty. The double whammy of soaring energy costs and cuts to energy efficiency schemes is pushing hard-pressed families in Bradford close to the edge.

“For many families, the desperate choice is between a warm home or food on the table. This is unacceptable in this day and age.”

She said many homes in Bradford, particularly in the private rented sector, were physically difficult to make energy efficient, more so for people on low incomes.

“In many other towns and cities throughout the country a family faced with soaring energy prices might consider improving the energy efficiency of their home, if of course they can afford it,” said Judith.

“But in Bradford the prevalence of “hard-to-treat” homes mean energy efficiency schemes are neither quick nor affordable. Measures are complex and expensive. And the prospect of a hard-pressed family meeting the expense of a complex scheme is ever more unlikely in light of this Government’ policies.

“I recognise that the Government is taking steps to tackle fuel poverty in the private rented sector. Regrettably the measures announced by this Government lack ambition.”

Judith added: “What is also clear is that the energy sector is no longer operating in the interests of our constituents. All the ‘Big Six’ energy companies, except British Gas to their credit, have recently announced price hikes. Competition is supposed to be there to drive down costs, to lower prices.”

UK Labour Party