Greg Barker MP is Minister of State for Energy & Climate Change. Follow Greg on Twitter.
Yesterday, the Prime Minister moved another step closer to delivering his promise of real help for hardworking people on their energy bills. Following a consultation, the Government has decided to strengthen the Energy Bill further to deliver the Prime Minister's pledge.
People cannot go without gas and electricity ,and the cost of keeping warm puts a strain on many people. In Labour's last five years, the number of people in fuel poverty rose by 2.25 million. That is why last winter we gave two million low income and vulnerable households, including a million of the poorest pensioners, £130 off their energy bills through the Warm Homes Discount. We also helped over 12 million pensioners with winter fuel payments, and made cold weather payments open to over four million people. A modest fall in the number of households living in fuel poverty was confirmed on Wednesday, and while there is still far more to do the Coalition is making progress where Labour failed.
Yet everyone understands the need to go further. For hardworking people more needs to be done to make sure that, once their bills are paid, there's something left for them to spend on the things they want to.