Government must admit scale of fuel poverty to ensure vulnerable get help this winter. - Kirsty

2009 Tachwedd 10 2:14 PM

As the Welsh Government publishes its latest fuel poverty strategy, the Welsh Liberal Democrats are calling on Ministers to admit the scale of the problem in Wales, as winter sets in.

Kirsty Williams, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats said:

"We welcome this new strategy as we must urgently tackle fuel poverty and protect our most vulnerable households, particularly during winter months. However, Government is still underplaying the scale of fuel poverty. This strategy says that around 240,000 households were in fuel poverty in 20061 but the figure today is closer to 320,0002. We need assurances that everybody living in fuel poverty, right now, during this winter, will get the help they need."

"This strategy says that an assessment of the number of fuel poor Welsh households in 2008, will be made in 2010. The last meaningful assessment was made in 2004, since when fuel prices have increased by 50-65%, way above the 30% worst case scenario The Welsh Government predicted in 20043. In the long term, fuel prices will continue to rise, and can rise rapidly when the economy grows. This challenge will not go away as demand for fossil fuels increases and supply dwindles. We re calling on the One-Wales Government to establish robust mechanisms for measuring and predicting fuel poverty in real-time."

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