Poverty worsened by postcode penalties
Iain McConnell (Letters, 19 December) is quite right about Ofgem’s love of Scotland. Table 3 in its 17 December press release postulates bills for all Scottish electricity customers increasing by far more than those in the national grid’s electricity transmission area, which covers England and Wales.
For once there is no extra transmission charge penalty for those of us in the former Hydro Electric Board transmission area. We pay roughly 20 per cent more for electricity than consumers in the rest of the country.
The effects of the “postcode penalties” for parcel deliveries in the north and the extra cost of fuel, though punitive in themselves, are mostly somewhat less severe than the effect of these extra electricity charges on households at this time of sky-high energy costs. At least the Westminster government has recognised and acted to relieve fuel costs in the islands.
Is it too much to hope that Ofgem will recognise that colder parts of the UK (which have to consume more energy just to keep warm) should not have transmission charges weighted so heavily against them as well?
While Paisley has been identified as Scotland’s most deprived area (your report, 19 December) the major cities in Scotland must take no comfort from this fact, as they all have their fair share of areas to be ashamed of.
It is hard to believe that in 2012 we in Scotland are no nearer to solving or even tackling the problems of social deprivation and sub-standard housing than we were 20 years ago as many political promises have been made but nearly all, predictably, been broken.
As we see another Christmas approach, perhaps it is time for our politicians to wake up to the sight of those queueing for food handouts and many families facing the harsh reality of fuel poverty as a desperate reflection of Scotland as it is in this new millenium.
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