Gill Furniss and Rebecca Long-Bailey comments on Fuel Poverty Awareness Day

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Gill
Furniss MP, Labour’s Shadow Business Minister
, commenting on Fuel Poverty Awareness
Day, said:

“Fuel poverty
affects four million households in the UK. This has a detrimental effect on
people’s lives – both physically and mentally. Cold homes impact young people’s
ability to study and socialise, and casts a shadow over vulnerable older people
who don’t want to admit they are struggling to heat their homes.

“There are
also huge financial implications for our NHS. It is estimated that suffering
from cold-related ill health costs the NHS £1.36billion each year, and if the
issue is not addressed properly, in the next 15 years £22billion will have to
be spent by the NHS to tackle ill-health related to cold homes.

“We welcome
the Government’s shift in focus towards fuel poverty; however, there is no
significant funding to back these announcements. There has been a shocking
decline in funding available for energy efficiency measures and some of the
most vulnerable fuel poor households are receiving no help at all.

“In my own
constituency of Sheffield, Brightside, and Hillsborough there are 7,241
households in fuel poverty. Whilst there have been fantastic local initiatives
to help those in need, these efforts are hindered by a lack of Government
support.

“As we
mark Fuel Poverty Awareness Day, we know that Theresa May’s
government has slashed energy efficiency incentives,
while offering meagre funding to support households in fuel poverty.

“The Labour
Party has made a commitment to end fuel poverty by making energy efficiency an
infrastructure priority and promising to insulate 4 million homes, as well as
providing support for those struggling with their energy bills so that nobody
has to live in a cold, damp home.’’

 Rebecca
Long-Bailey MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State of Business, Energy and
Industrial Strategy
, said:

“I am calling
upon The Government to make support and investment into the industry
surrounding home and premises insulation a key infrastructure priority.

“This makes
clear moral sense in terms of ensuring that individuals, families and
businesses have access to one of our most basic human needs: warmth. Aside from
this however there is a clear
economic case too.

“The return
on investing in energy efficiency is even better than HS2, creating money for
the taxpayer with £1.27 returned for every £1 spent, saves money for the NHS
and will create tens of thousands of jobs in SMEs spread across the country.
The fact the Conservatives are slashing investment in this area beggars
belief.”