Government 'must end fuel poverty for over 50s'

An older people's charity has urged the government to work to end fuel poverty for the over 50s.

The government has been called upon to do more to provide assistance for over 50s who are still struggling with fuel poverty.

Older people's charity Age Concern and Help the Aged has insisted long-term plans and financing must be put into place in order to prevent over 50s from struggling to pay heating bills.

The group welcomed the recent decision to maintain its scheme of Cold Weather Payments for vulnerable homeowners at the higher 25-a-week rate it introduced last winter.

However, it suggested that this work could be undone by planned budgetary cuts to the Warm Front home energy efficiency scheme next year.

This is despite the Department of Energy and Climate Change last month revealing that the scheme has been taken up by two million households thus far.

Patrick South, head of public affairs at Age Concern and Help the Aged, suggested that such initiatives should instead be scaled up in order to end the problem once and for all.

He said: "Stronger regulation is needed to ensure older people on low incomes are offered the lowest tariffs available."

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