Fuel Poverty

Part of Intellectual Property (Unjustified Threats) Bill [Lords] – in the House of Commons at 1:58 pm on 21st March 2017.

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Photo of Nick Hurd Nick Hurd The Minister of State, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy 1:58 pm, 21st March 2017

My hon. Friend makes important points not only about the importance of good design and the opportunities attached to it, but about the potential for data to make us more efficient in targeting support and to help us develop the smarter system that he talks about so eloquently. He will know that there are tremendous sensitivities around the sharing of data, towards which the Government have to take an extremely responsible attitude, but he is right about the opportunities. What he talks about is under active consideration, as he knows.

I ought to bring my remarks to a close so that colleagues can contribute to the debate, but I want to bring us back to why we are here today. Fuel poverty affects households in all our constituencies and it is a problem that we should work together to solve collectively. The fuel poverty strategy made it clear that the Government are committed to ensuring that there is sufficient parliamentary scrutiny of fuel poverty through the means of this annual debate, so I welcome the views of the hon. Members who are in the Chamber.

As I have suggested in my opening remarks, it is clear that we have made progress, not least in setting up, after too long, the much-needed strategic framework and statutory targets that will drive progress and ambition through successive Governments. The numbers show that since 2010 this Government and the previous Government have made progress, but the social challenge we face is very stubborn indeed. I reassure the House that the Government remain extremely committed not just to delivering on our manifesto commitment, but to keeping the country on track to meeting the 2030 target, however challenging.