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Nationwide protests demand Tories don't ‘forget’ fuel-poor households in Budget

FUEL poverty campaigners protested outside Parliament and across the country urging Chancellor Jeremy Hunt to help struggling households as he delivered his Budget speech today.

The event was part of a national day of action in support of the Unite 4 Energy For All campaign, which is urging the government “to prevent further loss of life through a national Energy For All guarantee and a complete overhaul of the energy sector, from generation to supply.”

Among its supporters, the National Pensioners’ Convention (NPC) said energy regulator Ofgem’s lower price cap on energy bills coming into force on April 1 will be “too little too late” to help the millions struggling to pay, calling for emergency measures to help.

NPC general secretary Jan Shortt said: “We know thousands die each year in the UK from illnesses related to living in cold and damp conditions — these figures can only get worse if the Chancellor fails to act.”

She said households are on average each paying more than £2,000 more for electricity and gas than three years ago, “with a staggering 5.3 million now in debt to their providers due to years of rocketing costs.”

Mike Childs, head of science, research and policy at Friends of the Earth, called for “transformative levels of investment and action.”

Stu Bretherton, Energy For All campaign co-ordinator at Fuel Poverty Action, said none of the major political parties are offering “the bold changes that we desperately need.”

National Energy Action chief executive Adam Scorer said the Budget has done “almost nothing to help fuel poor households.”

He added: “Energy prices may be reducing but bills will remain almost 50 per cent higher than pre-crisis levels.”

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