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Fears over rising costs of fuel – Copeland MP

THE choice between heating and eating is becoming a worrying reality for many families across the country, an MP has warned government.

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Copeland MP Jamie Reed said David Cameron needed to accept the stark reality facing the country as soaring bills and rising food prices will result in death.

Speaking in a Commons debate he said: “Energy costs are soaring and fuel poverty is on the rise. Energy bills are now one of the single largest bills faced by any family. Away from the numbers, what does this mean? It means that in constituencies such as mine across this country, people are choosing to sit in the dark, to sit in the cold, and to fear the winter.

“It is no exaggeration to state that the choice between heating and eating is a now a reality.

“At one time, we would have dismissed such a claim as hyperbole, but members in all parts of the House know that it is true. The consequence of higher energy bills, and the across-the-board inflation that they bring to other goods and services such as food prices, is, frankly, that people will die.

“That is the stark reality of the scale of the challenge facing us as a country as we set about reforming electricity markets.”

The comments came as Labour attacked the coalition’s energy strategy, claiming the government “promised change but instead is delivering chaos”.

Shadow energy secretary Caroline Flint said energy bills had risen by more than £200 since May 2010, while last week three of the big energy firms announced fresh price hikes, adding a further £100 to bills this winter.

She said: “If the government are as concerned about energy bills as they claim to be, why is it that their flagship Energy Bill does absolutely nothing to help people struggling to make ends meet?

“Over the last two years we’ve had countless white papers, consultations, updates and even a draft bill.

“But not once have we seen anything that recognises the need for urgent reform or challenges the prices and practices of the big companies.”

Energy Secretary Ed Davey said the government’s twin goals of increased competition and energy saving would “drive a wedge” between fluctuations in the wholesale market and hikes in household bills.

Mr Reed added: “Across Cumbria, not just in my constituency, the rising cost of energy is a growing problem for those least able to afford it. It does not just affect those pensioners who cannot afford it, but families too.’’

More than 25,000 households across Barrow, Copeland and South Lakeland are spending more than 10 per cent of their income on fuel bills – the marker of fuel poverty.

Have your say

It is absolutely disgusting that in todays era people are having to choose between heating themselves & feeding themselves.
Once again we are witnessing yet another direct result of government privatisation policy where all these energy companies-however many they are-are out to make as much profit as possible at ordinary working peoples expense.
There absolutely no neccessity to have energy & food prices at the astronomical levels they are.
The problem is as a result of privatisation these companies strive for the highest profit but one company may drop their tariff in order to draw in custom then once they have big custom, that's when the prices rocket!!
The government may say "shop around for the best deal" which is more complicated than its worth because it is fraught with great difficulty.
Which also highlights the drivel that energy secretary Ed Davey came out with when he mentioned about the governments "twin goals" & "driving a wedge" between fluctuations.
We need a full scale revolt!!!!

Posted by Charlie Dowthwaite on 4 November 2012 at 20:08

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