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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Bradford MP calls Government’s response to energy price cap increase “reckless” as fuel poverty set to double

Around 45% of families living in inner-city Bradford are expected to experience fuel poverty from tomorrow.

A national charity has warned that fuel poverty is expected to double in Bradford from Friday.

According to the End Fuel Poverty Coalition (EFPC), over 6.3m homes will be in fuel poverty from tomorrow morning, Friday, 1 April, following the Chancellor’s Spring Statement, which did little to help end the misery of fuel poverty.

The constituencies most impacted by fuel poverty are mainly urban areas represented by Labour MPs, like Bradford West and Bradford East.

Fuel poverty is expected to double in the district.  Image: Shutterstock.

Fuel poverty is the condition by which a household is unable to afford to heat their home to an adequate temperature.

It is caused by low income, high fuel prices, poor energy efficiency, unaffordable housing prices and poor quality private rental housing.

Nationally, 6.32 million households are estimated to be in fuel poverty, with the number potentially expected to reach 8.5 million by the end of the year.

The Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Energy estimate that people in Bradford will see a bigger year-on-year increase in their bills than anywhere else in Yorkshire.

The figures are based on local average domestic usage and Ofgem’s price cap figures for customers paying by direct debit.

Families and individuals in Bradford can expect an added £912 hike to their combined gas and electric bills, compared to an £885 increase in Kirklees and an £851 increase in Leeds.

Official Home Office statistics reveal that in 2019 around 8,829 homes in Bradford West, MP Naz Shah’s constituency, were in fuel poverty, or around 22.4% of families or individuals. This is expected to almost double to 17,575 homes, or 44.6% of families from tomorrow.

in Bradford East, represented by MP Imran Hussain, around 21.9% of families or 9,406 homes, spent a high proportion of their income to heat their homes. This number is expected to jump to 43.8% of families or around 18,723 homes.

Families in Bradford will see the greatest year-on-year increase in the whole of Yorkshire. Image: Sarah Agnew.

The EFPC is calling on MPs to demand the Chancellor back to parliament “at the earliest opportunity” to “set out how the Government will help those who will continue to suffer.”

Simon Francis, coordinator for the End Fuel Poverty Coalition commented: “Constituents will rightly be asking what MPs are doing to help end fuel poverty and the energy bills crisis gripping the country.

“End Fuel Poverty Coalition members have called for urgent help for households in fuel poverty now combined with a long-term plan to improve the energy efficiency of our homes and investment in a sustainable, renewable-led, energy mix.

“Sadly, none of these things was delivered in the recent Spring Statement and the Chancellor has once again ignored those in fuel poverty – including the 14,000 homes in his own constituency.

“MPs must demand Rishi Sunak comes back to parliament at the earliest opportunity and sets out how the Government will help those who will continue to suffer.”

Speaking on the figures released by End Fuel Poverty Coalition, Naz Shah MP, said: “Figures released today show 44.6% of households in Bradford West are living in fuel poverty. That is a stark increase of 22.2% in the number of households from 2019.”

“Families in Bradford are struggling to put food on the table, pay their energy bills and the government has offered nothing but a £200 loan for them to pay off later.”

“Yet, Shell and BP have announced more than £20,000,000,000 in profits since last year, but the government refuses to place a one-off windfall tax on oil companies to lessen the burden on working families.”

“Their refusal to help working families is reckless.”

Asian Standard has reached out to Imran Hussain MP for a comment. Check back regularly for updates.

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