'Green Budget' will not solve energy bill problem say experts

23 April 2009 / by Rebecca Sargent
Alistair Darling's so-called 'Green Budget' will not do much for the millions of people struggling in fuel poverty, independent consumer group Consumer Focus has claimed.

Green and energy efficient initiatives were a key focus for the Budget yesterday, as Darling announced a number of measures, including £435million to be spent on improving energy efficiency, and a pledge to cut the UK's carbon emissions by a third by 2020.

Meanwhile, according to Consumer Focus, Darling failed to address the issue of fair energy bill pricing, and "has yet to take the action needed to achieve its binding target to end fuel poverty."

Commenting, a Consumer Focus spokesperson said: "Not only are the Government's promises on ending fuel poverty unachievable through the pitiful energy efficiency measures announced, the cost of meeting the important new climate change targets could push almost two million more pensioners and families into fuel poverty."

And, despite the Budget's energy efficiency announcement, Consumer Focus claims that the £435million, which is split across the housing, business and public building sector, is insufficient as at least five times this amount would be needed each year for housing improvements alone.

"Of course there are spending pressures and limits, but it is a nonsense to neglect energy efficiency and fuel poverty in a Budget so focussed on climate change.

"Introducing radical energy efficiency measures would have simultaneously helped lift millions of the poorest customers out of fuel poverty, reduced carbon emissions and created thousands of green jobs," the spokesperson added.

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