As freezing winds and snow are set once more to sweep across the area, the Government has announced it is to slash funding to its ‘Warm Front’ scheme which helps disadvantaged groups heat and insulate their homes.
Eastleigh MP Chris Huhne, has revealed on his website that 2000 homes in the Borough have already benefited from the scheme. However this trend looks to change as Alistair Darling has announced a 50% cut in funding from £369 million to £197 million over the next two years and waiting times for the grants will be increased from the current 50 days to six months.
Speaking on the BBC’s Money Box programme, Derek Lickorish, chairman of the Government’s own Fuel Poverty Advisory Group said: “Instead of the 215,000 households assisted in this financial year it will be down to around 90,000 in the next. Those who have applied will see waiting times increase significantly and those who apply in future will be declined.”
Even under the existing scheme many people on low pay already miss out. Households with an income of less than £16k only qualify if they are already receiving a disability benefit and ‘income based’ JSA Claimants are eligible while ‘contribution based’ claimants are not.
Geoff Charles of Bower Retirement Services says, “More Government cuts leading to even more chilling news for the retired population”.
There are over 5,000 benefit claimants in Eastleigh according to statistics from the ONS.
Have you been turned down for a ‘warm front’ grant? Why not tell us about it?