The Department for Energy and Climate Change said a new definition that cut the official number of \”fuel poor\” families from 3.5m to 2.5m was being introduced to ensure help is \”targeted at those who need it most\”.

But critics at the Fuel Poverty Action Group said the Government had \”masked an escalating cold homes crisis\” by simply redefining the problem.

Under the old measure, any family spending more than 10pc of their income on gas and electricity was judged as being \”fuel poor\”.

Last year energy secretary Ed Davey said this meant that technically, even the Queen may be considered to be in fuel poverty, because of the cost of heating Buckingham Palace and other estates.

The new measure from DECC classes fuel poverty as a home where \”the total income is below the poverty line, and energy costs are higher than typical\”.

Simply redefine your way out of a problem.

Then again, the original definition wasn\’t all that much cop anyway. What\’s a double fuel bill these days? £1,200 or so? So any household on £12,000 or less is in poverty. Yes, we knew that anyway.

Why there should be a distinct category of \”fuel\” poverty as opposed to \”poverty\” is unknown to me.

21 thoughts on “This is cute”

  1. If someone were to give me a very big house I would become fuel poor. Of course I would be better off as I would be living in a very big house and would be able to sell my current house and be mortgage free. This is why fuel poverty is a crazy idea.
    Even the Queen might be fuel poor.

  2. The old definition meant that heating their swimming pools in winter was enough to put a lot of families into “fuel poverty”.

  3. “Why there should be a distinct category of “fuel” poverty as opposed to “poverty” is unknown to me.”
    So there can be organisations like “Fuel Poverty Action Group”
    Let me explain.
    The cost of the State via taxes etc has been allowed to rise to the point where people are unwilling to pay it. Politicians are quite happy to have organisations like the FPAG, Age Concern, Child Concern, LBGT Concern or any other Concern you care to mention lobbying to be treated as a special case & protected from the cost. It then bears exclusively on those who can’t garner sympathy from anyone, even themselves. Object & you’re “heartless”. It’s a way of doing massive wealth redistribution without actually seeming to do massive wealth redistribution.

  4. It’s the old Commie logic that gets me every time.

    Fuel is getting more expensive.

    Something must be done!

    What is done is that a bureaucrat produces a piece of paper that says to one million people, “You are getting poorer, but we have now produced a piece of paper that says you are no longer poor” and hey presto! Problem solved…

  5. I’ve got the answer, just give everyone in the UK 1 million pound note and then there will be no more fuel poverty as everyone will be millionaires…

    Why wouldn’t that work? (snark)


  6. BIS is in the right of it; it’s a sort of bait-and-switch trick that works on a rather clever number of levels.

    – there’s never enough money for what everyone wants
    – so if you take them as an aggregate (the electorate) you (the govt) have to tell some of them they can’t have what they want, which makes you unpopular
    – but if they are all discrete groups (the ‘x’ community, the ‘y’ community) then they can all compete for one big pot of money and it’s no longer your fault it’s the fault of one of the other groups for being too greedy.
    – this also provides graduate level jobs (in Public Affairs / Public Relations) for the glut of arts / humanities graduates (like me – interest declared) who would all have gone into the civil service in the old days but can’t now because a) the civil service has diversity targets and b) one way round those diversity targets is to emply diversity officers.

    Finally, it means you never have to criticise people for spending their money on stuff they don’t need rather than stuff they do. Hence why people in, say ‘food poverty’ often manage to find the cash for flat screen tellys, Sky and super strength lager. If they were just in poverty someone might point out their budgeting choices. But they’re not. they’re in food poverty, see?

  7. They redefine fuel poverty as not fuel poverty, they long ago redefined income inequality as poverty; they redefine banning as supporting; they redefine propaganda lies as balance; and bombing as humanitarian bombing.

    I believe Orwell wrote a book around the concept.

    In any case since 90% of electricity cost is government parasitism fuel poverty, under either definition, could be ended if our ruling cartel wanted it.

  8. If the Blulabour/Nulabour twats are bothered about “fuel poverty” then they had better stop kissing greenscum arse and cancel their plans to jack energy prices thro’ the roof to benefit the windmill wankers.

  9. before they redefine it, it would be instructive to work out how much of fuel poverty as currently measured would be ended by the removal of all of the various green lobby taxation. Where is the healine saying “government tax is responsible for 90% of all fuel poverty” ?

  10. They are being played at their own game. They have spent years making shit up, flipping between ‘real’ and ‘relative’ definitions when it suited them.

    So the Government does what they cynically do? Shut up and stop whining.

    Who knows what the true number of people in “fuel poverty” is. Both sides are liars.

  11. @ Mark T
    It isn’t government tax: it is subsidies to wind-farm operators and wealthy homeowners with solar panels – in both cases the subsidy exceeds the value of the electricity generated!!
    No: the headline should be “Caroline Lucas is responsible for a majority of “fuel poverty”.”

  12. As noted by everyone, ‘fuel poverty’ is a bullshit concept. If Bob wants to spend his money on living in a sauna-like environment and Sam wants to spend his money on coke and hookers, then it’s as absurd to suggest Bob is in ‘fuel poverty’ as it is to suggest Sam is in ‘coke and hookers poverty’.

    The green taxes thing is also bollocks, though. They represent a tiny % of leccy bills, which are high because fossil fuels are (gasp) more expensive than they used to be.

  13. it’s as absurd to suggest Bob is in ‘fuel poverty’ as it is to suggest Sam is in ‘coke and hookers poverty’.

    But I am, John, and I would like the government to do something about it 😉

  14. @ john b
    What do *you* call “tiny”? British Gas gives me a periodic analysis of my bills They say “green” charges (windfarm and solar subsidies and making British Gas pay for energy-saving insulation etc) amounts to 20% of my electricity bill and 11% of my gas bill i.e. they add one-quarter to the cost of electricity and one-eighth to the cost of gas.
    So unless you are Goliath reincarnated …

  15. “They say “green” charges … amounts to 20% of my electricity bill and 11% of my gas bill”

    This is for an average of a couple of gigawatts of wind power. If wind ever makes a significant contribution to the grid, the subsidy will have to increase vastly.

  16. Shouldn’t this so-called “Department for Energy and Climate Change” want people to be in “fuel poverty”? Less use of fuel, fewer “greenhouse gases” released.

  17. To be fair, measuring how people living in the Hebrides might be screwed by policies which are absolutely fine for people living in Brighton is not a completely worthless waste of time. I’m not convinced that either of these measures of fuel poverty is a great way of doing that, but I do see the point. Especially since “green” policies which push up the price of fuel tend to be especially popular amongst wealthy people living in the South of England, i.e. the people who have the most money and who need to spend the least on heating. Nowt wrong with attempting to measure the extent to which one group are trying to fuck things up for another.

  18. I am interested in John B’s definition of “tiny”. According to my bills, this tiny accounts for 14% of my fuel bills but I know that someone in high places – Lord beefburger Deben – has a big (Chairman) stake in the company and I know how accounts can be manipulated if people with sufficient authority “ask”.

    My take is that 50% of my bills are due to stupid, moronic “green” initiaitves.

  19. Inflation is annoyingly high, let’s introduce a new definition that makes it look lower. We could call it, Oh, I don’t know, how about “CPI”.

    Same tossers are still at it, I suppose.

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