In response to Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s autumn statement, the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE) has said the announcement is just the start of a long journey for the economy, but more immediate attention is required to reduce the ever-present threat of fuel poverty for struggling households.
Kevin Wellman, Chief Executive Officer at the CIPHE commented “Clearly, the government felt the need to redress the balance in relation to expenditure, stability and growth for the UK to manage the multitude of social and economic challenges that lie ahead. Yesterday’s statement was a much-needed first step, but there is a huge amount to be done, and many gaps to be filled. The autumn statement must be a starting point.
As an educational charity focused on how the plumbing and heating industry protects consumers, including the most vulnerable people in society, our main concern is for those who face the very real, and terrible threat of fuel poverty this winter – and potentially for a number of years to come. Hindered by the rising costs of energy, mortgages and food, millions will be affected in the months ahead - especially those who are already at risk due to low incomes, poor living conditions, age or health concerns.
With the energy price guarantee (EPG) being raised to £3,000 in the spring whilst being extended for another 12 months, domestic consumers are looking at increases of 164% in just two short years. With increases to taxes and a soaring inflation rate, where does this leave those currently struggling with finances and already unable to pay more?
We therefore urge the government to acknowledge the reality of the situation for Britain’s most vulnerable, and take whatever steps are necessary to protect them against crippling costs. Fail to stem the tide of fuel poverty, and the knock-on effect will be more illness, greater pressure on the NHS, and in some cases even deaths which would otherwise be entirely preventable”.
Find out more at CIPHE.org.uk.