As winter starts to take hold, the focus again switches to the elderly and vulnerable who rely on warm homes, not just for comfort, but out of necessity to stay alive. Those on low incomes are finding it increasingly hard to meet rocketing fuel costs, so for the most vulnerable, winter months look bleaker than ever.
However, with much noise, and little real clarity around how we will help people over winter, the over 50s are calling on the Chancellor to use his Autumn Statement to help make energy more affordable by rethinking the controversial Green Energy Levy. Just 29% of the 11,138 over 50s polled said they supported the Green Levy and more than eight out of ten believe that this controversial tax on consumer energy bills should instead be paid through general taxation.
Commenting on the research, Tim Pethick, Saga’s strategy director, said:
“By 2020 the Green Energy Levy is expected to account for some 14% of overall fuel costs, and therefore has a disproportionate impact on those on low incomes for whom staying warm becomes an eat or heat decision.
“If there is to be a “Green burden” it is felt by an overwhelming majority that it should be shouldered by general taxation with contribution based on an individual’s ability to pay, rather than be a tax more heavily felt by those who are already struggling to pay their bills.”
Those most opposed to the Green Energy Levy were those living in North East (57%), Wales (57%), Yorkshire and Humberside (55%), the South West (55%) and the East Midlands at (55%). Respondents in London were the most likely to support the levy at 34%.
Perhaps unsurprisingly support for the Gr
een Levy is strongest amongst the wealthiest and least supported amongst the poorest (32% of the socio economic group AB support whereas just 18% of C2 and DE groups).
For further information please contact the Saga press office on 01303 774716 or 07515 496321
Populus interviewed 11,138 Saga customers, all aged 50+, online between 13 and 21 November 2013. Populus is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules; for more information see www.populus.co.uk.