For pensioners and those on other government subsidies, a hefty electrical bill is out of the question. People have to choose between eating and keeping warm. What is a person to do? I know “let’s warm up a bowl of soup and take it to bed, snuggle down and watch the TV tonight – it’s going to be another cold one”.
For many there has been the option of a wood burning stove/fire, but if the NSW Government has its way, that option will soon be unavailable also.
THE smoky haze from wood fires is Sydney’s biggest source of air pollution in winter, and wood smoke will add $8 billion to the health budget by 2030, says an independent report commissioned by the state government and kept secret for six months.
One of the options put forward by the report, produced by the environmental consultancy AECOM, is a tax on wood fuel that which would keep the cost of burning wood rising in line with the federal government’s carbon price.
Other options include tighter regulation in new development areas, a tax on wood-burning heaters, or a ban on the heaters phased in over several years.
With electricity prices expected to rise up to 40 per cent by 2014 due to new network infrastructure and the carbon price, the report said wood heaters would become cheaper by comparison.
”Discretionary control measures may need to be considered to manage the undesirable outcomes, for example, a tax on wood fuel,” the report said.
Basically what I am reading in all of this is that the elderly, the disabled, the poor and those on Government benefits, will be denied the right to stay warm in their own homes come winter time. Right now they may have a very small advantage over those already forced to use electricity/gas for all home requirements. That will soon be phased out, either by an additional tax on buying wood, or these wood heaters will be phased out completely – (read outlawed), at some future date (read as soon as possible). All in the name of the so called Carbon Dioxide Taxation Scheme put in place to save the planet from (so called) manmade climate change.
Perhaps it is time someone told the NSW (and the Federal) Government that Scientists (credible ones) are claiming there is absolutely no need to panic about Global Warming, the scare is completely overblown. Gee folks, do you think they would listen?
From Choice Magazine
Heating options for your home buying guide.
How to keep your home warm this winter.
Get unbiased advice and reviews on heaters and heating options.
More than 2,700 people are dying each year in England and Wales because they cannot afford to keep their homes warm, according to an official study. The spiralling cost of gas and electricity combined with the impact of green taxes is putting health and lives at risk, researchers found.
Green taxes designed to meet a £200billion bill to switch to wind, wave, solar and nuclear power currently add around £100 to annual bills.
However, this figure is set to rise sharply in the next few years and will hit the poor, particularly pensioners on fixed incomes, harder than most.
The figure for deaths is higher than the number killed on the roads and has brought demands for urgent government action.
Professor Hills’s interim report found: ‘Most dramatically, the UK has a higher rate of ‘‘excess winter deaths’’ than other countries with colder climates.
‘Even if, at a conservative estimate, only a tenth of ‘‘excess winter deaths’’ are due to fuel poverty, that means 2,700 people are dying each year in England and Wales, more than die on the roads.’
However, his report conceded that the true number of premature deaths linked to the cold could be considerably higher at around 5,400.
It said: ‘Health impacts caused by exposure to cold tend to relate to cardiovascular and respiratory problems.
‘Low temperatures are also associated with diminished resistance to infections and the incidence of damp and mould in the home.
‘These effects are most important for the youngest children and increase for the most elderly.’ Professor Hills found that poor pensioners and families are having to spend an extra £1.1billion a year in total on heat because they often live in poorly-insulated, cold and draughty homes.
He said they do not have the money to pay for home insulation, double-glazing and gas efficient boilers at the same time as covering other essentials.
‘People with hard-to-heat properties may trade off other necessities to keep warm, at the most dramatic facing a choice of ‘‘heat or eat’’, with some evidence of reduced food spending at times of the very lowest temperatures by pensioners with the lowest incomes,’ he said.