The government has "shifted the goal posts" by
rolling back on a commitment to eradicate fuel poverty and fiddling
official statistics, according to a new report. Parliament's
Environmental Audit Committee says government programmes to help
low-income households insulate their homes are a vital part of the
solution, and should not be cut.
No-one should have to live in a cold home - and
thirteen years ago, the government set itself a target to ensure
that no-one would have to. Under the 2000 Warm Homes and Energy Conservation Act,
promised "as far as reasonably
practicable" to eliminate fuel poverty entirely by 2016.
Setting targets isn't always a guarantee of success,
however. In the event, the UK's level of fuel poverty
trebled between 2004 and 2009 -
and earlier this year, the government quietly got rid of the
target. As David Cameron and George Osborne make plans to
weaken a programme for tackling
fuel poverty, a Parliamentary committee argues that far from
scaling back policies, it must redouble efforts to tackling the
Fuel poverty target
In the past, a household was considered to be fuel
poor if it spent more than 10 per cent of its income on fuel costs.
It rapidly became clear that under this measure, the government
wasn't going to meet its 2016 target, however: