Greens call for more money to be spent tackling poverty

At Reading Council’s budget meeting Green councillors called for more money to be spent tackling fuel poverty.

Commenting after the meeting Green councillor Rob White said: “In Reading at least 7000 households live in fuel poverty. The Resolution Foundation estimates that this could triple without appropriate intervention. At the budget meeting we called on the council to increase the Winter Watch budget so as well as continuing with its current work more money could be spent insulating homes and helping those struggling to pay their heating bills.

“If this ‘can’t pay my bills’ crisis isn’t tackled we will tragically have more people having to choose between heating and eating, more people dying in cold homes and there will be a greater burden on the NHS.

“The Tory government is failing to insulate enough homes. Both the Green Deal scheme and the more recent Green Homes Scheme, which were both designed to insulate more homes were total failures. The council must do more.

“In the past Winter Watch had a larger budget but it was unfortunately cut in half by Labour councillors. More money for Winter Watch could pay for measures ranging from loft and cavity wall insulation upwards. This would allow the council to make more of a difference tackling poverty, cutting carbon emissions and creating jobs.

“I am disappointed that Labour and the Conservatives didn’t vote to do more to tackle poverty in the town but I thank the Lib Dems for their support.”

More information on Winter Watch can be found here:


The Green budget amendment sought to increase the Winter Watch budget from £50,000 up to £150,000 for one year so more could be done to tackle fuel poverty. This increase would be funded from the Housing Revenue Account, Delivery Funding and Public Health reserves.

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