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UK government has misled people in receipt of winter fuel payments

Updated: Apr 17, 2023

People in receipt of winter fuel payments have received misleading information from the UK government encouraging them to switch energy tariff to save £290.

That is the message of local MP, Amy Callaghan, who has joined with the Citizens Advice Bureau to warn residents in East Dunbartonshire that they should ignore the misleading information. The issue comes from information that was included on envelopes which were “clearly printed prior to the current energy crisis”, according to Iain Macdonald from the Citizens Advice Bureau in East Dunbartonshire.

The current energy crisis has seen costs soar and all cheap deals removed by energy suppliers. Energy experts are advising that the right action for most people is to stick with their current providers.

After originally saying that it would be "impractical, costly and wasteful" to replace the misleading envelopes, the DWP has now said that “no further [envelopes] will be issued.”

Amy Callaghan has been working closely with the Citizens Advice Bureau in recent weeks to offer advice and support to local people who may be impacted by rising energy costs.

Commenting, Amy Callaghan MP said:

“It’s really important that we get the message out to local people that they should not consider switching energy provider at this time. The information on the DWP envelopes is out of date and could end up costing you up to 30 percent more in your energy bills.

“The reality is we’ve been hit by an energy crisis that has led to several suppliers going bust, cheap deals pulled, and a rise in the so-called price cap.

“My constituents, like families across these islands, are facing a cost-of-living crisis created by the UK government. Rising inflation, removing the uplift to Universal Credit, pulling furlough while we’re still in the midst of a pandemic, and now the rising cost of energy.

“If you need help and advice, please get in touch with my office or with East Dunbartonshire Citizens Advice Bureau.”

Iain Macdonald, Money Talk Adviser at East Dunbartonshire Citizens Advice Bureau, added:

“The reality is lots of suppliers aren’t even accepting new customers at the moment, there is little price or tariff competition, and there’s uncertainty about the short-term future of some suppliers. You could switch supplier only to find they end up going bust.

“If you are struggling with your energy costs, please get in touch with our local office for advice.”

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