NEWS FROM THE CELTIC LEAGUE
We wrote earlier this month asking the Isle of Man Chief Minister what he intended to do about fuel poverty. This is a social distress factor that can only be exacerbated by the actions of OFT and Manx Gas.
A copy of our query can be found at this link;
The reply via the Cabinet Office is set out below.
Thank you for your letter of the 14th November 2015 to the Chief Minister. He has asked me to respond to you directly.
In the House of Keys on the 3rd November 2015 the Chief Minister announced that he has tasked Economic Affairs to research levels of fuel poverty on the Isle of Man. I am hopeful that by the end of 2015 we will be able to produce some evidence that will either support or refute your proposal that an urgent plan to address fuel poverty is required.
This will also answer your second question in terms of how many households are affected. You also raise questions regarding the issuance of advisory ambient temperatures for homes, which whilst valid, does highlight some of the complexity in defining fuel poverty. At present England use a “low income-high cost” model to assess those most in need, whereas Scotland have retained the measure that you are in fuel poverty if so spend more than 10% of your disposable income on energy. Wales do both.
In both the English and Scottish models spending is assessed at theoretical levels based on size and age of property amongst other things. It is not therefore based on actual expenditure.
We need to ensure that whatever information we present is accurate and comparable with other jurisdictions if it is not to be misinterpreted.
In the meantime, if you have any questions about this research, please let me know.
Executive Director of Policy and Strategy
Now if you were a cynic you would say this is just a typical ineffectual response from government. However the last two paragraphs do present an opportunity to all who have been reading or contributing on these pages with their concerns to act.
You can write yourself or more importantly press your MHK and any MLCs who are interested to contribute on your behalf. Specifically ask them to contribute to this ‘research’ and ask for a copy of the letter(s) they send on your behalf.
I also trust pensioners groups. Political organisations and NGOs also contribute unless there is pressure the government will do nothing. It is bad enough that this ‘research’ is taking place after the gas hike increases are starting to bite but that is all the more reason to make your voice heard!
Issued by: The Celtic News
THE CELTIC LEAGUE INFORMATION SERVICE
The Celtic League established in 1961 has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It promotes cooperation between the countries and campaigns on a range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, military activity and socio-economic issues