30 Mar 2007 New Phrase: “Fuel Poverty”
In Britain, very likely the country doing more than any other to fight what its government believes is a threat from human caused global warming, the phrase “fuel poverty” is gaining currency (no pun intended).
One of the side effects of many government proposals to fight global warming — for instance, so-called “cap and trade” here in the United States — is an increase in consumer energy bills.
Says the British ThisIsMoney.co.uk website (excerpted):
The number of households facing a choice between heating and eating has almost doubled in the past two years.
Spiralling gas and electricity bills have left nearly 4m having to spend at least 10 percent of their disposable income on heating and lighting – the definition of ‘fuel poverty’.
This is an increase of more than 1.7m, according to an independent study. The research was commissioned by the Energy Efficiency Partnership for Homes – a group of 700 industry bodies concerned with domestic energy efficiency…
…Project director Nicholas Doyle warned: ‘For thousands of people, the prospect of a warm and comfortable home is now a luxury that they cannot afford. The stark reality is that many people from low-income backgrounds are now faced with the choice of deciding whether to heat their home or provide for their family…
…Charities have drawn a clear link between rising power bills, fuel poverty and deaths of pensioners. The number of deaths between December 2005 and March 2006 exceeded the non-winter average by 25,700. Age Concern believes a significant number were hastened by cold, with elderly people worried about the cost of using their heating…
Hat tip: Iain Murray at Open Market