Will the budget tackle fuel poverty?

What will Darling’s budget headline be? Perhaps veni, vidi, vici (translated as ‘I stole my best ideas from Vince’). People seem to like Lib Dem policies when they get them. The legacy of the LibDem/Labour partnership government in Scotland, with well-funded education and social care, is now tempting English communities north of the Border. Or perhaps that’s just the rugby.

If the pre-budget rumours are true, then Lib Dems are already shaping Government policy. In January, Nick Clegg used his first Question Time to highlight the impact of rising energy prices on the poorest families and pensioners across Britain. It struck a chord with me.

On Christmas Eve, I met Amina [not her real name] and her daughter in the local corner shop; their electricity prepay card had been topped up but had stopped working, and she had no money to buy another one. So she was back in the shop, surrounded by people getting their crackers and mince pies, desperately negotiating a fresh card so that her family could heat and eat over Christmas.

Meanwhile the Prime Minister has done nothing more than tut tut at the energy companies who levy higher bills on pre-paid meters, so the poorest families pay the most for their energy needs. So if the Government do announce action today that’s welcome, if overdue, news.

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1 Comment »

  1. […] by intervening to better regulate energy prices, particularly the higher unit charges paid by the poorest consumers on pre-pay […]

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