Higher energy prices will hit elderly
THE Government should do more to protect pensioners in North Somerset who will be hit by increasing fuel bills this winter, according to Weston s Liberal Democrat prospective parliamentary candidate.
THE Government should do more to protect pensioners in North Somerset who will be hit by increasing fuel bills this winter, according to Weston's Liberal Democrat prospective parliamentary candidate
Mike Bell has made the call after recent rises in the cost of electricity and gas by major suppliers.
Mr Bell said the means-tested winter fuel payment, where Government gives pensioners up to £300 to help with costs of keeping warm in winter, will not be enough to help many avoid financial difficulties.
He said: "Elderly and disabled people are hardest hit by the fuel price hikes, which more than wipe out the value of the winter fuel payment.
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"There are approximately 20,000 pensioners in Weston and the surrounding villages. The recent fuel cost rises will put them in a financially difficult position.
"The Government must do far more to combat fuel poverty. The top priority must be to end the scandal where pensioners are paying a fortune to heat draughty houses where a lot of the heat is simply wasted. Many older people are currently paying to heat the great outdoors in addition to their own home.
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"This is a waste of scarce cash and also makes no sense for the environment.
"In many other European countries with much colder weather, household energy bills are lower because homes are better insulated and heating is more energy-efficient.
"The Government needs to get its act together and make sure that Weston pensioners don't have to make a choice between heating and eating on cold winter days.