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Fuel poverty set to rise

A government-commissioned report has said that fuel poverty numbers are set to increase in England.

The report, compiled by Professor John Hills, states that 7.8 million were in fuel poverty in 2009 and predicts that this figure will increase to 8.5 million by 2016.

The report is a blow to the government’s stated commitment to tackling fuel poverty.

“Fuel poverty is a serious national problem and this government remains committed to doing all it can to tackle it and make sure that the help available reaches those who need it most,” Ed Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, told the BBC.

The report also states that nearly three million deaths each year are linked to fuel poverty, including respiratory or cardiovascular disease.

There is also a focus on households with low income and high energy bills within the report.

The government has stated that it will publish a new definition in its report planned for publication in the summer.