More than 20 charities, including Save the Children and Age UK, have linked up to urge the Prime Minister and Chancellor to take urgent action to support people struggling to cope with rising fuel bills.
The charities have written to Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak warning them that the escalating cost of energy bulls is leaving many families “choosing between heating and eating”.
Other charities involved include WWF, Green Alliance, Faith for the Climate, Greenpeace and Tearfund.
They want the government to release emergency funding to support the most vulnerable to insulate their homes. Currently two thirds of households have no access to any insulation grant scheme, the charities warn.
Unless action is taken fuel poverty is set to worsen and affect six million homes. It currently impacts on four million households.
Another to sign the letter is the End Fuel Poverty Coalition. A spokesperson for the coalition said that “fuel poverty is a public health and social crisis but can only be solved by economic measures”.
“The government must do everything possible to help people in crisis now while investing in energy efficiency programmes to fix the long-term problems”.
Today, we join 27 charities calling on @BorisJohnson, @RishiSunak & @KwasiKwarteng to respond to the #gascrisis with a green & fair response. This means emergency support for the most vulnerable & a long-term plan to end reliance on fossil fuels https://t.co/i5H2Si8cdX— End Fuel Poverty Coalition (@EndFuelPoverty) January 14, 2022
In addition, the charities are calling for vulnerable houseolds to be supported in paying their bills.
“The cost of living crisis, fuelled by soaring energy prices, is totally unsustainable and is hitting the lowest income families the hardest,” said Save the Children director of UK Impact Dan Paskins.
“Parents we work with tell us that they’re struggling to meet basic needs, leaving them having to make impossible choices between heating their homes and buying clothes for their children. And children are paying the price.
“Children deserve a fair and green future and need a concrete plan from the UK Government that tackles both the cost-of-living and climate crises.”
The extra support can be funded through a windfall tax on fossil fuel industry, which the charities say are due to make profits up to ten times higher this financial year” due to rising wholesale fuel prices.
Greenpeace UK policy director Dr Doug Parr added: “A windfall tax on oil and gas companies would be a fair way to help finance the transition as we exit fossil fuel production in line with advice from leading experts at the International Energy Agency.
The full letter from the charities can be found here.