A Conservative council leader has appealed to chancellor George Osborne to ease some of the pressure facing low-income households burdened by fuel poverty.
According to the West Cumberland Times & Star, Eddie George of Cumbria County Council this week wrote a letter to Mr Osborne ahead of next month’s Budget, warning that more than 60,000 households in the county were struggling to cover the cost of energy.
“We have a moral obligation to alleviate the challenges faced by the vulnerable amongst us and that includes those who are suffering a wretched life in fuel poverty,” he explained. “Poverty has a direct impact on health and well-being and on the quality of life.”
Mr George added that the number of Cumbrian households considered to be in fuel poverty had risen by 130 per cent since 2005, and noted that last autumn’s gas and electricity price hikes had added to the difficulties facing many people.
A recent study conducted by Camco estimated that the number of UK households in fuel poverty will rise from the current figure of 6.4 million to 9.1 million by 2016.