Thursday, November 25, 2010

Third of homes experience real hardship as fuel poverty grows, ‘heat or eat’ isn’t a slogan for some, it’s a way of life for many in Scotland

Dear All

Fuel poverty isn't funny, living in a cold flat or house day in day out takes it toll.

Some people have no choice, they face a dilemma ‘heat or eat’.

Increasing energy prices are great for the utilities companies who are raking in massive profits.

But the poor struggle as cash becomes even tighter.

One tenth of households were estimated to be in "extreme" fuel poverty.

I am one of them.

And more people will be joining me in the future; things aren’t getting better despite the political hype from Westminster.

Housing charity Shelter Scotland said the number brings "shame" on the nation.

The cost of fuel increased by 19.5% between July 2008 and July 2009!

For those on low incomes they never saw matching rises in their income, they have only one option do without.

This winter is shaping up to be extremely cold, a month out from officially winter and it is bitter outside and inside for some.

Graeme Brown, director of Shelter Scotland, said:

"For one of the world's more wealthy countries like Scotland to now have more than one third of its households, 770,000, living in fuel poverty or extreme fuel poverty brings shame on our nation. If this trend continues, a rise of 8% on last year's figure, the Scottish Government is never going to hit its target of eradicating fuel poverty and certainly has no hope of meeting the 2016 pledge. The Scottish Government can make a difference by prioritising the building of new energy-efficient housing and raising the standard of existing housing stock."

Isn’t it ironic that people like MPs on six figures Ministerial salaries cannot manage the UK economy but the poor can stay within budget?

But then the poor have no choice but to be financially prudent and freeze.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

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