Fuel Banks Pilot Scheme Aims To Address Austerity-Era Dilemma Of ‘Heat Or Eat’

UNEMPLOYED IN TYNE & WEAR

Families in poverty who are forced to switch off their gas and electricity supply because they are unable afford spiralling energy bills will be offered free charity fuel vouchers under a pilot scheme. The so-called “fuel banks” initiative will provide a £49 credit for struggling families who use prepayment meters in a move designed to address the austerity-era dilemma of “heat or eat”. It is being run by energy firm nPower and poverty charities including the food bank network Trussell Trust.

The vouchers, which will provide enough credit to restore power, and keep lights and heating on for up to two weeks, will be available to people in crisis referred to food banks by welfare advice agencies, GPs and social workers.

Labour MP Frank Field, who has campaigned against fuel and food poverty through his all-party Feeding Britain initiative, described the scheme as an…

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