The UK Poverty Rip Off – Report from Save the Children

Save the Children have issued the following report today:

“Low income families are still paying more than wealthier families for basic goods and services – and energy bills are the worst offender.

Everyday necessities such as bills and insurance are costly for everyone – but for too long those on lower incomes have had to pay extra for the same energy bills, credit, cookers and other goods than wealthier families often because they do not have access to the best deals. This is simply unfair.

For a typical low income family, the extra they pay – called a poverty premium – has risen from an average of £1,000 in 2007 to £1,280 or more in 2010.

Most significant has been the rise in energy bills – and the health of low income families ultimately pays the price. The government’s Warm Home Discount Scheme will offer rebates to some, but not all those who need it.

Act now: Call for all low income families to get a rebate

Around 20% is the rising cost of gas and electricity

Average bills for poorer families are £1,134 per year, compared with £881 for wealthier families (before the latest hikes in heating prices are even taken into account). It’s feared that by 2020, the energy poverty premium could be as much as £1,800 per year.

Many parents have to choose between a hot meal or heating

Cold living conditions increase children’s susceptibility to illness and damages respiratory health. Education is also affected if there is no warm, peaceful space to do homework.

You have to prioritise heating because you have to have the house warm enough for kids”. – Lana, mum of two.”

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