Charity brands child fuel poverty figures 'alarming'

4:16pm Friday 7th March 2014

FIGURES published by a leading charity have revealed that more than three thousand Weaver Vale children in poverty are missing out on crucial help that could keep them warm.

Research by the Children’s Society has revealed 3,117 children in the constituency are in families that are not getting the Warm Home Discount (WHD).

The WHD provides a £135 annual rebate on their fuel bills – enough to cover a typical family’s energy bills for a month.

2,240 children in Eddisbury, 3,471 in Crewe and Nantwich and 1,351 in Tatton are also among nearly two million children across the UK missing out.

The Children’s Society’s chief executive, Matthew Reed, described the statistics as ‘alarming’ and said he wants the Government to apply the WHD to families in poverty automatically, to prevent them missing out.

“The scale of the problem, as these figures show, is truly appalling,” he said. “The government must take decisive action now to move children in from the cold and help stop their parents from having to make this terrible choice between heating and eating.

“By making the Warm Home Discount automatically available to all children living in poverty, the government can give these families a lifeline to help them out of poverty, and they should do it now.”

A Children’s Society spokesman added: “Although the government last week announced that it was extending the Warm Home Discount under its new child poverty strategy, in reality this will only increase the amount of time the programme runs by a year to 2015-2016.

“It does nothing to help the millions of children in need who are still missing out.”

A separate study by the charity found that more than three million families were likely to cut back on food this winter so they can pay their energy bills.

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