Monday, 5 May 2008

300,000 more elderly in fuel poverty trap

Nearly a third of a million more pensioners will be unable to afford to heat their homes properly this year.

Age Concern boss Gordon Lishman said "fuel poverty" - when more than a tenth of household income goes on energy bills - was m danger of returning to 1997 levels, before Labour came to power.

Energy bills are set to soar by an average £250 - meaning one in six of Britain's 12 million elderly will find the cost of proper heating too much, a 300,000 rise on the previous figure.

Mr Lishman said: "The Government's fuel-poverty strategy should be urgently revised.

"Gordon Brown must prove he is in touch with people's concerns by holding his own urgent summit to get the strategy back on track." For people on State pensions, annual bills of £1,200 will mean almost a fifth of their income goes on fuel.

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