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Fuel Poverty: Travelling People

Volume 488: debated on Monday 2 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what plans his Department has to reduce fuel poverty among Gypsy and Traveller communities. (258683)

Those living in Gypsy and Traveller communities, and in receipt of a qualifying income or disability related benefit, are able to apply for assistance with heating and insulation measures through Warm Front. Indeed DECC ensures that the Warm Front scheme manager, eaga plc, actively targets minority ethnic groups to ensure they can benefit from the scheme.

Unfortunately, many of those of the Gypsy and Traveller communities live in properties including Park Homes, which can prove ‘hard to treat’ and may not be suitable for some of the measures currently available under Warm Front. However, we are currently reviewing options for alternative heating and insulation products which could assist these properties.

In addition, those who live in Gypsy and Traveller communities and are over 60 years of age would qualify for the winter fuel payment and, subject to their satisfying the grant eligibility criteria for applicants, could also qualify for assistance under the cold weather payments scheme.