Fuel debts on the rise, says CAB

The number of people in debt to fuel suppliers has risen in the first two quarters of 2009, compared to the same time last year, Citizens Advice has said.

This, the organisation noted, is the continuation of a trend that has seen enquiries regarding this increase by 82 per cent since 2005-6, a fact that the bureaux’ chief executive has said must be tackled by the government.

Noting that fuel debt is currently worsening despite the fact the winter months have yet to arrive, David Harker commented that providing information on help available to debtors and targeting those most vulnerable “must be a prime focus for the government and energy companies”.

Citizens Advice clients struggling with such debt problems are primarily those of working age, while 80 per cent earn half the average income.

However, Patrick Smith of Age Concern and Help the Aged stated recently that government initiatives such as the implementation of Cold Weather Payments at the rate of £25 are a positive step for elderly people struggling to meet their bills.

By Sarah Adie

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