Jonathan Blasts Labour’s Lack of Courage on Fuel Poverty

Plaid Cymru Westminster Candidate for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr, Jonathan Edwards has responded to a column in the Carmarthen Journal by New Labour MP Nick Ainger on fuel poverty, by claiming New Labour lacks the political courage to tackle fuel poverty. Mr Edwards attacked Mr Ainger for failing to acknowledge the scale of fuel poverty in his article with a reported 25% of Welsh households now living in fuel poverty.

Jonathan Edwards , is a former Government of Wales adviser on the policy area said:

“Mr Ainger seems to imply in his article that fuel poverty is an isolated issue that affects just the very poorest in society. With National Energy Action Cymru reporting that 25% of all Welsh households suffer from fuel poverty, nothing can be further from the truth. The current rates of fuel poverty are the clearest indication of his Government’s failed social justice agenda. Ordinary working people are worse off under Labour than they were under the Tories when it comes to fuel poverty, he should be apologising not blowing his own trumpet.”

“The UK Government’s proposed Energy Bill will not go far enough. It lacks the political clout to get to grips with the problem. Despite the clear failure of the so called energy ‘competitive market’, the Energy Bill does little to protect vulnerable people. The proposals for enforced social tariffs are a paltry step forward compared to a policy of removing the vulnerable fuel poor from the competitive market as I propose and capping price increases such as they have done in France. Under his Government’s plans people struggling with their bills will still be at the mercy of the greedy energy companies and their cartel like behaviour.”

“We need global action on oil prices; we need the UK Government to reform the discredited competitive market that governs our energy system; we need to support the Government of Wales in their efforts to invest in energy efficiency measures; and we need a Welsh duty on Local Authorities to identify fuel poor households and retrofit properties with the latest air to heat technology. This sort of holistic approach would have far more of an effect than the measures proposed by Labour.”

“Aneurin Bevan himself said, ‘we know what happens to those that stand in the middle of the road – they get run over’. In their failure to tackle the failures of the energy competitive market, yet again we witness the political bankruptcy at the heart of the modern Labour party.”

Nodiadau / Notes:

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