Cold comfort: fuel poverty and the Winter Fuel Payment

Document type
Brinkley, Andrew; Less, Simon
Policy Exchange
Date of publication
1 March 2010
Poverty Alleviation Welfare Benefits and Financial Inclusion
Social welfare
Material type

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 The number of households spending more than 10% of income on energy has risen steadily since the launch of the Fuel Poverty strategy. Figures show that by 2007, the numbers of people in fuel poverty in the UK had risen to 4,000,000 from 2,500,000 in 2001. This report calls for a more honest approach from government. It argues that if the government wishes to use the Winter Fuel Payment funding to boost the incomes of older people, it should do so transparently through the pensions or benefits system. If, on the other hand, it is serious about helping people who struggle to heat their homes, the government should focus on improving domestic energy efficiency and effective approaches to tackling poverty.

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