Drop green levy to help make homes warmer this winter?

• Survey of 11,000 over 50s puts support for energy Green Levy at just 29%

• 83% of over 50s call for Green Levy to be paid through general taxation

• Saga calls for an end to the eat or heat decision

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 to help vulnerable 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.

Gas Flame (PD)If there is to be a “Green burden” the overwhelming majority feel that it should be shouldered by general taxation, with the 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 Green 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).

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