Birmingham residents are missing out on Warm Homes Discount Scheme for an unfair reason, according to an MP

An MP from Birmingham has spoken out against the government’s Warm Homes Discount Scheme saying that people in need to miss out on help with energy bills
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A disabled mum with two children, a single mum of three living in a flat and a pensioner are among the Birmingham residents missing out on the government’s Warm Homes Discount Scheme.

Shabana Mahmood, Labour MP for Ladywood, has spoken out against the programme - which is supposed to offer help with energy bills for those in need - saying changes in eligibility are hitting thousands of households across the UK.

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Last year, the government changed the eligibility criteria for the warm homes discount scheme, which they said would expand the number of people supported, but, Ms Mahmood says that, in practice, this has left some of our most vulnerable out in the cold.

To qualify for the payment, low-income households must now have energy bills that are high enough to pass the government’s threshold. But instead of using an individual’s energy bills to determine this, the Government is using an algorithm based on the size, type and age of a person’s home.

Meaning those with smaller houses, who are often in need of support the most, are being excluded. Ms Mahmood said a whole range of people across Birmingham Ladywood are impacted including:

  • Ms Keller is disabled mum with two kids under five and after previously receiving the discount has been told she no longer qualifies because her house is too energy efficient.
  • Ms Faye is a single mum of three living in a flat and receiving universal credit. She is facing astronomical bills but has been told she does not qualify for the discount.
  • Mr Parell is 73 years old and his gas bills have recently doubled. He is in receipt of pension credit, but has been told he no longer qualifies for support. He has been told to challenge this decision he needs to provide an EPC, which can cost anywhere from £50-£100, which would essentially offset his payment.
Shabana Mahmood, Labour MP for Birmingham LadywoodShabana Mahmood, Labour MP for Birmingham Ladywood
Shabana Mahmood, Labour MP for Birmingham Ladywood

Ms Mahmood said: “With the Conservatives’ cost of living crisis continuing to bite, it is beyond a joke that vulnerable people in my constituency are being denied support that they have relied upon for years to keep them warm through the winter months.

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“Those that really need support are being left out in the cold all because the government decided to use a convoluted formula which is far removed from the reality facing many in Birmingham Ladywood.

“That’s why I have written to the Minister to ask him to look again at the scheme and explore what other options could be used as proof of the extortionate costs some constituents are being asked to pay. I will keep working to ensure that my constituents receive all the support they need throughout these difficult times.”

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