George Osborne has overruled energy minister Amber Rudd by vetoing changes to the government’s £320m scheme tackling fuel poverty that would have targeted it better at the neediest families, leaked emails show. Rudd is often regarded as a close ally of the chancellor, but the two clashed during March over changes to the warm home discount (WHD), which is administered by energy providers and provides a £140 rebate to help poorer households pay their bills. Emails from the energy secretary’s advisers said: “Amber feels very strongly about getting this right and it is central to our message on getting help to the most vulnerable rather than the middle class”. Rudd wanted to use data held by the Department of Work and Pensions to ensure that the limited pot of cash went to households in genuine fuel poverty – and she had hoped to make an announcement on the idea last month. But when her advisers raised the proposals with the Treasury, they were firmly told the chancellor was “unconvinced of the need to change a system that works”, despite the fact that, as energy department insiders pointed out, just 15% of people who receiving the discount are fuel poor.
Guardian 16th April 2016 read more »
MORAY has 23,800 cold homes with people living in conditions that could cause ill health. Figures released by the Existing Homes Alliance – a coalition of housing, environmental and industry organisations – showed 43 per cent of households in the area were living in fuel poverty. The group is calling on all political parties to commit to ridding the country of cold homes by 2025.
Northern Scot 16th April 2016 read more »