MP wages war on fuel ‘fiasco’

David Cameron in Parliament yesterday and (below) Blackpool South MP Gordon Marsden.
David Cameron in Parliament yesterday and (below) Blackpool South MP Gordon Marsden.
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THE Prime Minister has urged Blackpool people to take up a government energy scheme as 10,000 people in the resort are affected by fuel poverty.

Blackpool South MP Gordon Marsden probed David Cameron at the Commons yesterday over the government’s Green Deal, launched this week, offering householders a long-term loan for energy measures.

Blackpool South MP Gordon Marsden

Blackpool South MP Gordon Marsden

He said statistics showed at least a quarter of Blackpool residents – 10,000 homeowners – were spending more than 10 per cent of their income on fuel.

The Labour MP labelled the scheme a “fiasco”, as he said only five people in the country had registered their interest – a year after it was promoted.

Speaking at Prime Minister’s Questions, he said: “Thousands of my Blackpool constituents in poorly insulated homes fear sky-high cold weather bills. The government’s Green Deal has seven per cent interest charges, and only five households have signed up for it. How did the Prime Minister achieve this fiasco?”

Mr Cameron replied: “It gives householders the opportunity to cut their bills and cut their costs with absolutely no up front costs. Instead of talking down these schemes, he should be encouraging constituents to take them up.”

Speaking after the debate, which was aired on BBC Parliament, Mr Marsden said: “I wanted to bring home to the Prime Minister the desperate situation many householders in Blackpool find themselves in.”

He added he was also campaigning for a new energy watchdog “with teeth” to stop energy companies increasing their prices while they are making huge profits.

Blackpool South, and conservative, MP, Paul Maynard, said “The Green Deal will allow homeowners to borrow to make their homes more energy efficient. This scheme will help people combat the rising cost of energy bills. Homeowners will make savings on their gas or electricity bills to pay the loan back.”

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