Gas Stove

(Westminster, UK) Parliamentarians of all parties in Westminster are calling for urgent action on autism and winter fuel poverty.Dr Rudi Vis – MP for Finchley & Golders Green has tabled early day motion 281 in the House of Commons. One of the co-sponsors of the motion is Lee Scott, MP for Ilford North, Patron of the UK Autism Foundation. Scott is also taking the matter up with Ministers of Her Majesty’s Government. He has campaigned on autism in parliament.

Early day motion 281 now before the House of Commons was tabled in support of the UK Autism Foundation’s ‘Autism and Winter Fuel Poverty’ initiative. The autism charity is deeply concerned about the plight of families with autism who are below the poverty line, many are struggling to pay rising energy bills. The UK Autism Foundation is also calling on Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Chancellor Alistair Darling to authorise emergency winter fuel payments for families with disabilities including autism and Asperger’s Syndrome.

The UK Autism Foundation has appealed for urgent action from the Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Chancellor Alistair Darling, Business Secretary Lord Peter Mandelson, Children’s Secretary Ed Balls and Energy Secretary Ed Miliband.

The foundation has urged energy companies to consider a reduced social tariff for all families with disabilities including autism; a support structure to help families with autism and Asperger’s Syndrome, during the recession; the ceasing of overcharging on direct debits and the resolving of on-going problems with pre-payment meters.

There are many families who are in desperate need, vulnerable children have to suffer without proper heating as parents try to save on the rising energy bills and they are struggling as a result of the credit crunch and the recession.

Ivan Corea: ‘We urge to Government to help families with autism who are below the poverty line. Energy Companies are not helping the vulnerable. Many families with autism have to decide between heating and eating. The rising energy bills during the recession are unacceptable particularly when the poor are being exploited. We appeal to Her Majesty’s Government to reach out to families with autism who are finding life so difficult during the economic downturn. We are calling for a reduced social tariff for all families with disabilities including autism and for energy companies to put a stop to overcharging vulnerable families.’

EDM 281 tabled by Dr.Rudi Vis in the House of Commons in the Palace of Westminster states:

‘That this House shares the serious concerns of the UK Autism Foundation that there will be many more parents, carers, children and adults with autism and Asperger’s syndrome across the United Kingdom who will be faced with winter fuel poverty; notes that many families with autism and Asperger’s syndrome are struggling to heat their homes because of rising gas and electricity bills particularly during the credit crunch and the recession; is concerned that despite the economic downturn energy bills are at record high levels; supports the call of the UK Autism Foundation for the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer to provide crisis payments for families with autism below the poverty line who are struggling to heat their homes this Christmas; backs the call of the UK Autism Foundation for an industry-wide reduced social tariff for all families and people with disabilities including autism; urges the Government to take this matter up with energy companies as soon as possible in order to help families with autism who are struggling to cope with high gas and electricity bills during the recession; and calls on the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer to provide on-going support to families with autism struggling to cope with financial burdens and facing the threat of home repossessions during the credit crunch and the recession in 2009 and beyond.’

Photograph courtesy of the Silent Photographer.

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