energywatch welcomes Budget proposals

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energywatch has welcomed Alistair Darling's targeting of prepayment meter charges and social tariffs in his Budget speech.

However, the watchdog body added that while identifying areas that need to be tackled is good, a clear strategy and action is needed to help those in fuel poverty across the UK.

Adam Scorer, the organisation's campaigns director, added that the government could have also done more to help those struggling to pay energy bills.

"It should have reversed the cut to the Warm Front programme and targeted the benefits of winter fuel payments to those non-elderly consumers who are eligible for cold weather payments," he explained.

"Critically, if the government is going to see a tripling of industry commitment to social tariffs it will need to require all suppliers to develop social tariffs to some minimum standards."

Recent research by energywatch found that energy consumers using prepayment meters are being charged around £255 more than those paying by online Direct Debit.

Figures from the body also claim that there are 4.5 million households in fuel poverty in the UK.

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