MSE News: 'Don't make kids pay the price of rising energy costs'

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Energy
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MSE_GuyMSE_Guy MSE Staff
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Energy
This is the discussion thread for the following MSE News Story:

"Energy firms should do more to help families with children heat their homes, argues Justin Forsyth, chief executive of charity Save the Children......"


  • CardewCardew Forumite
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    MSE Guy

    How does this differ from the 'Save The Children' thread you started 2 days ago?

    Same comments apply:
    The 'social tariffs' provided by the Utility companies, are simply funded by a cross-subsidy from other gas and electricity customers; it doesn't come from their profits.

    Provided all companies provided funds in equal proportion, it wouldn't concern the companies if the monies allocated to 'social tariffs' were doubled, tripled or increased x fold - except the companies would get blamed for the increased prices.

    If Families cannot afford gas and electricty bills, it is a Government issue to address with increased social security payments paid for from taxation, not slope shoulders and pass the buck to other customers - many of whom are little better off than those on social tariffs.

    It is disingenuous for Save the Children to blame the Utility companies simply because they are unpopular and an easy target - what they are in effect saying is that all electricty and gas customers should have higher bills.
  • edited 6 January 2012 at 4:00PM
    50Twuncle50Twuncle Forumite
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    edited 6 January 2012 at 4:00PM
    Yet again - it is "save the kids" - what I want to hear is "save the childless couples"
    Parents already get way too much financial help to bring up their children - ie) Child Tax Credits.
    So why single Children out for even more financial assistance ?
    It is every adults right to choose whether they have children or not - and if they cannot afford to look after them properly - they should not produce them
    Save the childless couples - who benefit society much more than parents of children - saving the country a small fortune in not claiming such as prescriptions and extra time off work....
    I say offer "Childless Tax Credits" as a reward to those who choose not to burden society with children
    And as for offering social tarriffs to families - simple question - why ?
    Surely - homes with children are warmer than homes without - due to the extra body heat produced by running about ?
  • PincherPincher
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    We are past the 7 billion mark already.

    If the randy bunnies don't put the brake on, we'll end up eating the suckling baby bunnies.
  • 50Twuncle50Twuncle Forumite
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    My point exactly - so when are the "true saviours of society" - ie Childless Couples - going to be rewarded ?
  • Leon_WLeon_W Forumite
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    Studies show that 25% of children are now classified as clinically obese. Couldn't these jump around a bit to keep warm thus killing two birds with one stone ?
  • 50Twuncle50Twuncle Forumite
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    Or even render them down and use the oil and fat as fuel for our vehicles !!
  • WestonDaveWestonDave Forumite
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    Another classic example of a story being told to further particular aims without a lot of thought to what they are really saying.

    Is it really the case that £1 per day during the cold seasons makes the difference between shivering incoherent kids unable to do their homework whilst getting ill or being healthy high acheivers at school. Is it really necessary to bath kids more than twice a week?

    What about other factors - surely a large part of the problem is substandard housing with low insulation and inefficient heating systems. Sorting that out by imposing decent homes standards on landlords (including social landlords and housing associations) would probably go much further to solving the problems quoted than keep subsidising cheap fuel. Is it not possible to find that £1 from elsewhere in household budgets - how many of these kids that are shivering, are sat idle in front of pay TV, watching their parents drink and smoke? Of course not all low income families are doing that but perhaps if the definition of fuel poverty (by which people qualify for these grants) was adjusted to take account of non essential spending like pay TV etc then you'd lose a fair few who are struggling to heat their homes because they simply choose to prioritise other things.

    Which brings me to the final bugbear - "fuel poverty". A term which is bandied about as if its some kind of scientific absolute whilst ignoring the fact that "income" is a very variable term. My income has to cover my housing costs, school dinners for the kids, council tax, prescriptions etc, where someone else gets a much smaller "income" but has all of the above covered by benefits etc. You can therefore end up with people who have less money to actually spend after housing not being defined as in fuel poverty, whilst those who have lower "incomes" due to benefits but end up with more to spend being defined as in fuel poverty and therefore qualifying for subsidies paid for by the first group through their utility bills. If this terms is going to be used it needs to adjusted to look at residual incomes after housing costs are paid for.
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  • JoyfulJoyful Forumite
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    I think more should be done through Landlords.What is the point of the energy companies giving extra money to heat homes when all the heat is lost through drafts or damp. Energy companies ( at least BG are) are providing free insulation to customers thus saving the landlords money so why should the landlord not be responsible to get the other things sorted?

    I often speak to customers who advise me there is damp running down walls or the windows are blowing a gale through them so any heat just disappears.I spoke to someone in temporary accomadation who advised she may be there for up to 3 years but could not keep up with heating the house as the heat immediately escaped through all the faults in the house. This landlord was getting over £800 a month housing benefit but all the customer was told is to be grateful for a roof over her head.

    Also when it's Winter the government gives extra help to families on benefit but not to single people in the same situation. When we have extreme cold times like last Winter why did the Government not help those without children on benefits?

    Of course we want to protect our future generation but sometimes families with more than 1 child have lots of money coming in so I personally think the amount of income from benefits rather than the fact they are on benefits with children should be taken into account when extra support is given.
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  • rinabeanrinabean Forumite
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    Healthy, young adults don't need extra money for heating, as they don't really need extra heating at all. I've done without and I'm not even that healthy. Children, the ill and disabled and the elderly do tend to require higher temperatures, which costs more, and they tend to have less money. Children can't earn money, or decide where to save money that's coming in to keep themselves warm. Think what you like of their parents, but the things some have said on this thread are shameful. And then you have the nerve to call yourself a "saviour of society"? I bet you would be the first to complain if you heard kids running and playing next door, too.
  • [QUOTE If the randy bunnies don't put the brake on, we'll end up eating the suckling baby bunnies. [/QUOTE]

    [QUOTE Or even render them down and use the oil and fat as fuel for our vehicles !![/QUOTE]

    Nice people on this thread. Or trolls.
    Enjoy your childless couple dinner parties where you and your fellow 'true saviours of society' can plan your final solutions.
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