Over 50,000 low-income households are set to be left in the cold this winter, after shocking figures uncovered by Labour.
Caroline Flint MP, Labour’s Shadow Energy and Climate Change Secretary, revealed that because of Government budget mismanagement, over half the money set aside for this year’s Warm Front Scheme is predicted to remain unspent when the scheme closes on 19 January 2013.
The revelation comes at a time when the average energy bill has hit a new record high of £1400, and the Government’s own fuel poverty advisers are warning that an extra 300,000 people could be pushed into fuel poverty this winter. Labour has called an Opposition Day Debate in the House of Commons on Wednesday 16 January, and will call on the Government to extend the scheme until the full budget has been spent.
Caroline Flint MP, Labour’s Shadow Energy and Climate Change Secretary, said:
"Millions of families are turning down their heating this winter because of soaring energy bills. The most sustainable way people can cut their bills and keep their homes warm is by making their homes more energy efficient. In this cold weather it just does not make sense for Ministers to close down Warm Front when nearly half the budget has not been spent and people are crying out for help with their fuel bills.
"Unless Ministers act now and ensure Warm Front is extended until the full budget for this year has been spent, tens of thousands of families will be needlessly left in the cold."