,, We saw fuel poverty figures drop significantly from around the year 2000 until the massive rise in gas and electricity prices kicked in a few years ago and reversed this trend. Because of this, it is critical that the NRFC continues its leading role in fighting fuel poverty and ensuring that policy makers, particularly in government, are aware of the consequences their policy decisions will have on those in fuel poverty.
,, With the number of households in fuel poverty having almost tripled in the last five years [and an estimated 6.5 million households across the UK struggling with the affordability of their energy,] the scourge of fuel poverty is a national problem we cannot afford to ignore. We know that investment in warmer homes dramatically reduces the incidence of fuel poverty and associated health and social problems, which could see huge cost savings to our NHS. But the government's decisions will mean that from next year, spending on improving the energy efficiency for low income and vulnerable households will be cut by almost half at £540million, down from £1.1 billion in 2009/10. I commend the work of coalitions like The National Right to Fuel campaign who are key in helping to inform parliament about the impact of these policies on some of the most disadvantaged households across the UK and support them in their work to push back against these regressive cuts and ensure that everyone has the right to a warm and healthy home.