Local MP's concerns that over 2,788 poor children in Rotherham are denied support to keep their homes warm


Local MP Sarah Champion is worried by new research from The Children's Society which reveals that over 2,788 children in poverty in Rotherham are missing out on crucial help that could keep them warm. There are nearly two million children in poverty nationwide in families that are not getting the Warm Home Discount. This provides a £135 annual rebate on their fuel bills - enough to cover a typical family's energy bills for a month.

Sarah Champion MP said: I am gravely concerned that parents have to choose between feeding their children a decent meal and putting the heating on. With escalating energy prices under the coalition, I support The Children's Society call for the government to make the Warm Home Discount automatically available to all families with children who are living in poverty which will make a real difference to families in poverty struggling to pay energy bills.

In Behind Cold Doors: The chilling reality for children in poverty, The Children's Society found that more than three million families were likely to cut back on food this winter so they can pay their energy bills.

And of the five million families that said that they were likely to turn their heating down because of the cost, more than half said they were worried that their children would become ill as a result.

This spring, the government has the opportunity to make sure no child has to grow up in a cold home when it reviews its fuel poverty strategy and consults on the future of the Warm Home Discount.

The Children's Society's Chief Executive Matthew Reed said: It is alarming that huge numbers of children across the UK are growing up in a cold home. The scale of the problem, as these figures show, is truly appalling. The government must take decisive action now to move children in from the cold and help stop their parents from having to make this terrible choice between heating and eating.

By making the Warm Home Discount automatically available to all children living in poverty, the government can give these families a lifeline to help them out of poverty, and they should do it now.


NewsVanessa Johns