Friday, December 17, 2010

Heat or Eat, the stark choice for the vulnerable as they go without food to pay for rising fuel bills, where is the UK Government, cosy with the rich

Dear All

There is a choice that many in Scotland have to make, it is ‘heat or eat’!

That isn’t just a slogan but a reality.

Vulnerable people are going without food in order to keep the heating on, and on the other side of the coin, people are sitting in freezing cold flats and houses.

I know I am one of them, I can’t afford to heat my flat properly, it is like an icebox where I can see my breath when I breathe out.

But if I go into fuel debt I am in serious trouble by being unable to pay my bills I am literally ‘cooked’.

Fuel bills are rising and obscene profits are getting made by energy companies on the backs of the most vulnerable as temperatures plummet across Scotland.

I feel like I am in a Batman movie playing Sub zero but I do have a mini heating system to call on, a hot water bottle.

The return of sub-zero conditions has created hazardous conditions on the roads but in houses it is equally risky.

Citizens Advice Scotland flags up that in these drastic times, people are taking drastic measures such as skipping meals and living, sleeping and eating in a single room to cut their fuel bills.

Chief executive Lucy McTernan said:

“One-third of Scots are now officially living in fuel poverty and that is completely unacceptable”.

And there is a Tory Government with its quisling sidekicks so no help there will be coming over the horizon, no Christmas Carol for the poor.

McTernan added:

“Advisers across Scotland have reported to us that many people are so worried about their fuel bills that they are going without food in order to keep the heating on. Others are planning to spend the Christmas holiday period living more or less in one room, so they don’t have to pay to heat the whole house. We’re hearing of too many vulnerable people – including pensioners, sick people and families with young children – who are sitting shivering in their homes this Christmas. Many of them are suffering adverse health problems as a result.”

Four of the biggest six energy suppliers, who provide around 97% of British domestic energy have increased their prices this winter anyone seen the UK Government take action?

Or even comment?

No, Cameron, Clegg, Osborne and Cable are strangely silent because although the poor vote, companies are a possible source of party political donations and they want to be seen to be business friendly.
They are already known for not being people friendly so why bother change the habits of a lifetime!

There has been criticism from Consumer Focus and Ofgem but energy companies have little to fear from them.

Toothless tigers set up to be seen to be doing something for the public.

A Met Office spokeswoman said:

“There are signficant risks for later in the weekend, because the air over Scotland will remain extremely cold. So we could still see some disruption for central Scotland.”

Freezing to death being one of them!

When I go ‘home’, I take my jacket off and put my 'indoor' padded jacket like many in my situation, it is going to be a cold Xmas, ‘just like the ones I just to know’.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University


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