Time to end the scandal of cold homes says Labour candidate

More than 6,000 homes in the Lancaster and Fleetwood parliamentary constituency are in ‘fuel poverty’, new figures reveal.
Cat Smith, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for the area, is calling for much more to be done to tackle cold, draughty homes, with high energy prices increasingly taking their toll on cash-strapped families.
Government figures show that 6,039 homes in the constituency are officially classed as being in “fuel poverty” - meaning they spend more than 10% of their total income on heating their home. [1]
Ms Smith is calling on the Coalition to reverse its cuts to insulation schemes. [2] 
She has joined more than 180 charities, campaign groups, unions and companies making up the Energy Bill Revolution coalition to call for a huge programme to upgrade the energy efficiency of our homes – starting with the poorest households. [3]
Ms Smith said: “It is shocking to think that in 21st century Britain so many people in Lancaster and Fleetwood cannot afford to heat their own homes.
“This can have serious consequences, especially for vulnerable people like the elderly and young children.
“Now is the time the Coalition should be planning ahead for next winter and trying to ensure nobody has to suffer in this way.
“Labour has pledged to freeze energy bills if it wins the general election next year, but the Coalition has the power to do this now, as well as to reverse its damaging cuts to insulation schemes.
“Fuel poverty is just one element of the cost of living crisis which has resulted in the average family being £1,600 worse off under this Government.”
UK homes are among the hardest to heat in Europe, with too little insulation and leaky windows and doors. 
Countries such as Sweden have very little fuel poverty, despite much colder weather and similar energy prices that are similar to the UK.  That is because their homes are so much more energy efficient.
Previous work by the Energy Bill Revolution has shown that improving homes like this would create more jobs, be better for the economy, and be more popular with the public than any other major building project.



[1] Figures from Department of Energy and Climate Change show that in England as a whole, 2.6m homes are in fuel poverty.  Full figures available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/199833/Fuel_Poverty_Report_2013_FINALv2.pdf
[2] http://www.energybillrevolution.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/FP_spendingFINAL.pdf
[3] http://www.energybillrevolution.org/whos-behind-it/

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