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Henry Vann appalled as government talks out fuel poverty Bill

March 29, 2009 9:03 PM

Henry Vann has slammed the government for talking out a vital Fuel Poverty Bill proposed by the Liberal Democrats which had support from a number of Conservative and Labour back-benchers as well.

Liberal Democrat Shadow Leader of the House, David Heath brought forward a bill aimed at ending fuel poverty in the UK in the annual ballot for private members bills.

It has received the backing of many major charities, including Help the Aged, Friends of the Earth, Consumer Focus and the Association for the Conservation of Energy.

The Fuel Poverty Bill will bring in two measures:

• A major energy efficiency programme to bring existing homes up to the current energy efficiency levels enjoyed by modern homes

• Social tariffs to limit vulnerable households' exposure to high energy bills

Henry, Bedford and Kempston parliamentary campaigner for the Liberal Democrats, said: "Five million households have faced a choice between heating and eating in this last winter, and it is time to put an end to this annual struggle.

"I am shocked that the government, rather than putting it to a vote, decided to use parliamentary procedure to run the Bill into the ground.

"By using parliamentary process to avoid a vote, this government are playing games with people struggling with fuel payments and are abusing the democratic system. It is utterly unacceptable.

"The Liberal Democrats have fully supported the Bill which promotes social justice and would also have benefited our environment and our construction industry. I am disappointed to see the government reject it in such a casual way."