Half of fuel-poor households in work

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DarthVector

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Half of fuel-poor households in work

  • on: 11 Jan 2015 01:31AM
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More than half of those defined as being in fuel poverty in England are actually in work, a report has said.

The report is from the right-wing think tank Policy Exchange, who believe that the Government could "more efficiently target" subsidies for fuel costs and energy efficiency. From the BBC:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-30743471

This part particularly caused me to raise an eyebrow:

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[The think tank] suggested that people claiming the Winter Fuel Payment should have to opt in to it.

The money saved [from people who didn't opt in] could be put into further energy efficiency measures.

seegee

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If people were required to opt-in, would they be asked each year whether they need to/ wish to do so? 
How many people dying of cold-related health problems did it take before government decided that it should be given, and given automatically to certain groups of people?

Yvette

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Lots of people may not know that they have to 'opt in'.

Or know how to do it  - given that most things have to be done on computer nowadays.

ditchdwellers

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The assumption that everyone is able to access the Internet or follow changes in procedure is alarming.

Sunshine

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http://www.policyexchange.org.uk/publications/category/item/warmer-homes-improving-fuel-poverty-and-energy-efficiency-policy-in-the-uk

Being in rented accomodation makes a difference.

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10% of all households in England are in fuel poverty – but this rises to 19% of households living in private rented accommodation.

I wonder how many of these people dont have heating because the landlord has not maintained it properly eg the boiler is broken?

I can see why they are talking about an opt in policy for Winter Fuel Payments.

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Only 10% of Winter Fuel Payment recipients are actually in fuel poverty. Introducing an ‘opt-in’ for the Winter Fuel Payment could save £400million a year which could be reallocated into energy efficiency measures for the fuel poor.


seegee

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Could be reallocated to anything else the government would like to spend money on, though. 
It's by no means automatic that any money saved would actually go to energy efficiency "for the fuel poor", many of whom are living in privately rented properties.  Even if it's given to improve energy efficiency it would be another subsidy for landlords (who could then charge more rent for a "better" property, leaving the tenant no better off).

Prabhakari

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SashaQ

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I went to a talk about psychology or something not economic related, and the speaker said that the winter fuel payment isn't for fuel poor people as much as it is a reminder to people to keep warm in winter - the name helps people to think about what the money is for even if they don't spend it directly on fuel.

Therefore it is effective in its own way.

Fuel poverty should be addressed as well as older people's health,  not instead of it, as the people who need it most are probably the ones least likely to opt in...