The Liberal Democrats are calling on the Government to extend a national scheme that saves £140 on energy bills to households struggling due to the coronavirus, helping an estimated 7697 households across City of York Council.
The Liberal Democrats have warned that swift action must be taken to ensure no one or families are pushed into poverty when it is easily avoidable through a shift in national policy.
The party’s plans would see all households that fall into the government definition of fuel poverty access the Warm Homes Discount. The move would see some 2.5 million households across the UK - many of whom are not currently eligible for the scheme - benefit from £140 credit on their energy bills.
In a letter to the Government backed by a cross-party group of 28 MPs, Ministers have also been encouraged to bring forward plans to improve the energy efficiency of homes across the country, in order to reduce fuel poverty in the long term. This comes on top of Liberal Democrat proposals to scrap VAT on energy bills during the Covid-19 lockdown.
Cllr Carol Runciman, Executive member for Health and Adult Social Care said:
“City of York Council are doing all that we can to support residents through the Covid-19 crisis. Our community hubs have been established all around the city to make sure everyone has the food and support they need. However, it is essential that the Government acts to ensure no one is pushed into poverty when it is easily avoidable through a shift in national policy.
“The Government already offers a Warm Home Discount on fuel to the poorest pensioners. Extending this to all those who meet the current definition for fuel poverty would make an enormous difference to thousands, including many families with children.”