Mini budget a missed opportunity to help millions stave off fuel poverty

23 September 2022, Ciaran Donaghy

CIEH has announced its concern that the UK Government’s ‘mini budget’ represents a missed opportunity to help millions of low-income households stave off fuel poverty this winter.

The highly anticipated ‘mini budget’ included a raft of policies, including cancelling planned corporation tax rises, scrapping the cap on bankers’ bonuses, as well as cutting stamp duty on homes, yet sadly there were no announcements of additional energy efficiency measures which would have a material impact on the household bills of those likely to be worst affected with soaring bills this winter.

CIEH has campaigned strongly for the Government to intervene as a means of tackling the cost-of-living crisis as well as a long-term strategy in the fight against climate change.

Despite the Government’s plans to freeze the price cap at £2,500 for two years, it is estimated that 7 million will already be plunged into fuel poverty this winter as research from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation outlines; highlighting significant gaps in support for those on the lowest incomes.

CIEH are among over 60 organisations, from energy firms to climate and poverty campaigners, who have urged the UK Government to correct course and prioritise energy efficiency measures as a matter of urgency.

Dr Phil James, Chief Executive of the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, said:

“Whether you call it a mini-budget or a ‘fiscal event’, what is clear is that this announcement from the Government is a missed opportunity to prioritise energy efficiency measures that could have saved millions from suffering fuel poverty this winter.

We have made repeated calls to the Government that a targeted rollout of energy efficiency measures would serve the twin purpose of providing support to the most vulnerable households while also supporting the levelling up agenda. A long-term national rollout of energy efficiency measures would also have supported the UK’s Net Zero ambitions as well so we are disappointed not to see any additional energy efficiency measures included in this announcement.
We would urge the Government to work to introduce such measures as a matter of urgency to support those most in need with their energy bills, meet the UK’s climate objectives, while levelling up the country”

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