Fuel costs push­ing res­i­dents into debt

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Front Page -

IN­CREASED costs of gas and elec­tric­ity are push­ing peo­ple into debt.

That is the find­ing of a sur­vey by Shep­way Cit­i­zens Ad­vice Bureau (CAB).

So­cial pol­icy co-or­di­na­tor Sarah Sayer said: “Fuel poverty is tied in with poor hous­ing.

“The cost of fuel is a trig­ger fac­tor push­ing peo­ple into debt. Th­ese util­i­ties are a ne­ces­sity that many just can­not af­ford.”

Fuel poverty is de­fined as where more than 10 per cent of a house­hold’s in­come goes on fuel to main­tain an ad­e­quate level of warmth.

CAB says help is avail­able for those strug­gling to meet fuel bills. As well as lob­by­ing en­ergy sup­pli­ers to en­sure poor­est fam­i­lies have ac­cess to the cheapest prices, CAB ad­vises: Shop around for the best deal Speak to your sup­plier and check that you are on the best tar­iff for you

Ask about so­cial tar­iffs which of­fer cheaper prices to those on low in­come, older peo­ple or those with long-term ill health

Check en­ergy ef­fi­ciency schemes – over-60s are en­ti­tled to win­ter fuel pay­ments and un­der-60s on low in­come could get cold weather pay­ments

Of 30 cases taken from CAB’s debt work be­tween July and Novem­ber 70 per cent of cases were in fuel poverty and in 17 per cent of cases, more than 20 per cent of in­come went on fuel costs.

CAB has seen a six-fold in­crease in the num­ber of its clients with fuel debts since Jan­uary, 2007.

For more in­for­ma­tion con­tact CAB on 08444 994118 or go to www.shep­way­cab.co.uk

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.