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Tom Brake

Liberal Democrat MP for Carshalton and Wallington



March 3, 2009 11:37 AM

Soaring energy bills have left an estimated 5,645 households in Carshalton and Wallington in fuel poverty1 this winter, according to new figures flagged up to the Liberal Democrats.

Local MP Tom Brake, is demanding the Government act urgently to help people struggling to pay their fuel bills and is calling on MPs of all parties to back the Fuel Poverty Bill being introduced by Liberal Democrat MP David Heath.

Tom said:

"These new estimates from Consumer Focus are truly shocking.

"Nearly 15% of all the households here in Carshalton and Wallington are in fuel poverty this winter.

"It is clear who is to blame. Since 2004, gas and electricity bills have shot up to more than twice their levels in 2004.

"Energy companies are quick to jack up their prices when energy prices rise but drag their heels when wholesale prices fall. They make huge profits while, as the recession bites here in Carshalton and Wallington, more and more people are being faced with the dreadful choice between heating and eating.

"I am calling on the Government to take urgent action to help people struggling with high fuel bills.

The Fuel Poverty Bill currently in Parliament, proposed by Liberal Democrat MP David Heath, would deliver a massive home insulation programme which would halve the energy needed to heat the average home. And it would end the scandal of those who use pre-pay meters - generally the least well-off - paying higher rates for their gas and electricity.

Tom added, "The energy companies, which have made billions in windfall profits from the European Emissions Trading Scheme, must be made to pay for the programme, as well as being told to cut bills faster for their customers."