NORTH Shropshire's Helen Morgan has urged the Government to work harder to speed up support to families in off-grid homes as cold temperatures strike again.

Families in off-grid homes are still yet to receive any Government support with their heating bills, including more than 20,000 households in Shropshire who do not have a mains gas supply and rely on oil to keep their home warm.

Mrs Morgan, the Liberal Democrat MP for North Shropshire, has repeatedly called on the Government to introduce a price cap on heating oil and LPG instead of offering 'just' £200 via the Alternative Fuel Payment scheme.

She said she is concerned for the many vulnerable and elderly residents in Shropshire, as well as for those without an internet connection, and raised this point with Business Secretary Grant Shapps in the House of Commons on Tuesday, January 17.

Speaking afterwards, Mrs Morgan said: “We’re midway through January, temperatures are below freezing and the Government still hasn’t sorted out payments to families in off-grid homes.

"It’s not good enough and ministers must work harder.


“Rural areas are always the last to get the help they deserve under the Conservatives.

“Once the scheme is belatedly rolled out, it’s really important the Government makes sure that everybody who is eligible is able to access the money as soon as possible regardless of their age or broadband speeds.”

She said this scheme was announced months ago but is still yet to be rolled out by the Government, which has faced criticism from MPs of all parties over its slow response to helping off-grid homes.

Meanwhile many people, such as care home and park home residents, are also still waiting for help paying their electricity bills due to not having a direct relationship with their supplier and thus not benefiting from the price cap.

They are due to get a £400 discount on their fuel bills but like payments for heating oil and LPG this is still yet to be rolled out.

As well as concerns over the size and speed of support, there are fears that vulnerable people may have difficulties accessing the money once it is eventually made available.

Those who get electricity directly from a supplier should automatically receive support payments via a discounted bill, but others will have to register online.

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