The government clearly has money to burn. I got a brown envelope from Belfast this morning – and found myself scared to open it. That’s what it’s come to for disabled people in this benighted country!
I did, though, and it’s a letter from central government, telling me I could get funding to insulate my home. Fair enough, you might think, but the DWP database from which they gleaned my name and address also tells them that I’m living in a rented flat, and it’s not mine to bugger about with (and on the ground floor my need for loft insulation is somewhat limited).
The letter opens with “We know that heating bills can be a worry.” Well, actually, no, they’re not, for me at least – my building has a communal heating system that is very cost-effective.
It’s true, though, that heating costs are a major problem for many sick and disabled people – or those who are just old or on low incomes – and there’s a solution to that, other than insulation which, let’s face it, does nothing for the other major energy consumers, lighting, cooking, and household appliances, and which is entirely within the remit of central government to do something about – lower the cost!
Reducing VAT on gas, electricity and heating oil to 10% would go a long way towards easing the cost of power (my electricity Direct Debit has recently gone up to £47 a month, despite the fact I’m living in just one room).
Then Ofgem could actually do something constructive about the profiteering of energy companies who put their (often foreign), shareholders before their customers, instead of just mouthing toothless platitudes, and cap and/or reduce prices.
Try doing something useful for a change, for everybody, rather than pointlessly offering insulation funding to people who have no use for it! Doing nothing is simply not acceptable.