date: 17 May 2012
embargo: immediate release
Commenting on the latest fuel poverty figures published today (Thursday) by the Department for Energy and Climate Change which show that the number of families who had to spend more than a tenth of their income on gas and electricity in 2010 fell by 500,000 - the first drop in seven years, TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said:
"Today's figures show that the significant investment made under the last government on a variety of household energy efficiency measures had a huge impact on cutting the number of people who were struggling to pay their fuel bills.
"But the future doesn't look so bright - we are now living in much harsher economic times. Recent government cuts to the energy efficiency budget will mean thousands fewer families can benefit from grants which can make their homes warmer and their gas and electricity bills lower. Fuel prices are also much higher now than they were in 2010. This means we're likely to see a million more families fall back into fuel poverty this year.
"No-one should have to choose between whether to spend money on food or on keeping warm. The government must urgently reassess its decision to cut the energy efficiency budget and make more money available under its forthcoming Green Deal scheme to make sure that the UK's homes become more energy efficient and that no-one goes cold this winter."
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Press release (300 words) issued 17 May 2012
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printed 18 May 2013 at 07:25 hrs by 126.96.36.199