Business, Finance & Economics

Eight million people in England won't be able to afford fuel by 2016


Campaigners for fairer fuel prices were expected to be in Parliament today urging the Government to cut fuel tax duty and to scrap any further rises. According to the AA the average cost of petrol had soared to 137.79p a litre and diesel had risen to 144.92p, putting pressure on both haulage and domestic motorists.


Matt Cardy

A new report shows that about three million households in England will not be able to pay their energy bills by 2016. The report says that fuel poverty is currently responsible for almost 3,000 deaths a year. In 2009, 7.8 million people couldn't pay their bills, and the report's author John Hills predicts that figure to continue to rise. 

In total, he predicts that 8.5 million individual people will suffer from fuel poverty in 2016.

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Hills also believes that the current methods used to measure fuel poverty in England are flawed.

Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey responded to the report in a recent press release: “Fuel poverty is a serious national problem," he said.

Fuel poverty isn't just bad for health. It also hurts the environment and hurts people in more indirect ways, Hills said. "It is also bad for families with older children, if they can't afford to keep a room warm enough for them to get on quietly with their homework," he told BBC News. "People who find their homes hard to heat are pumping out carbon into the atmosphere which is blocking some of the efforts to reduce carbon emissions."

Some people suffering from fuel poverty, particularly the Fuel Poverty Action Network, have taken their anger out on oil industry executives. In January, activists entered the British Gas building and protested in the office, the Daily Telegraph reported