Insights from the UK and beyond
Is the energy package enough?
Gordon Brown has unveiled an energy package designed to give some relief to householders struggling with ever-rising gas and electricity bills.
The six major energy suppliers will contribute to a one billion pound, three-year energy-saving initiative — but will not face a windfall tax on their profits.
Pensioners and people on low incomes or benefits will receive free loft and cavity wall insulation, while others will receive a 50 percent discount. The government says 12 million elderly households will benefit from the plan this Winter.
Other measures include:
* A freeze on this year’s bills for 500,000 poor customers
* Partial reversal of the cut to the warm front programme giving free central heating to poorest pensioners
* Cold weather payments to go up from £8.50 a week to £25 a week for pensioners, the disabled and families with children under five – if temperatures drop below zero for seven consecutive days
Do you think it is enough? Would a windfall tax have been better?