Heating or eating - stark choice facing older people

February 9, 2006 11:03 AM
Government Department of Trade and Industry DTI

Mark is a member of the DTI Select Committee

'Heating or eating' could be the choice facing thousands of pensioners as energy bills continue to escalate - according to local MP Mark Hunter. The Cheadle MP put the Secretary of state for Trade and Industry - Alan Johnson MP - on the spot this week at a meeting of an influential parliamentary Select Committee.

Mark Hunter asked the Minister if he agreed with the comments of Age Concern who stated earlier in the week that as energy prices increases impact mostly on older people and those on fixed incomes, for many the choice was 'heating or eating'. The Minister acknowledged that this was indeed the reality and that other measures would be required to alleviate fuel poverty.

After the meeting, Mark Hunter commented, "I'm glad I had the chance to question the Minister directly. If reports are true that average household energy bills will soon exceed £1,000 a year, it will mean hardship for many people in Cheadle and elsewhere. The government needs to act not only to ensure continuity of energy supplies but to make sure vulnerable people can afford to pay their gas and electricity bills."

"An increasing number of local people have approached me with their concerns about rising energy costs and recent reports from British Gas suggest that the situation is likely to get worse. I hope the government agree to investigate whether huge hikes in process to customers are justified."

Notes:

Mark Hunter MP is a member of the Trade and Industry Select Committee

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